Demos get a warranty
Consumer Protection is again reminding buyers of demonstration vehicles they are entitled to the full term of the manufacturer’s warranty in terms of time, with the clock starting from date of purchase.
The warranty on a demonstration vehicle is only affected in terms of distance travelled, with the odometer reading at the time of purchase allowed to be deducted.
For example, a five-year warranty is effective for five years from date of purchase.
A warranty of 100,000km would become 100,000km minus, let’s say, 5000km on the odometer of the demo vehicle. The time aspect is NOT up for negotiation.
Demo vehicles are often an attractive alternative for consumers seeking a new car at a reduced price but dealers should not be incorporating time reductions on the warranty as part of the discussions for a cheap sale. This right is enshrined in WA’s Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, so it is illegal for motor vehicle dealers not to offer buyers the full time length of the warranty.
Likewise for people who have bought a second-hand vehicle with the balance of a new car warranty.
That warranty period should start when the vehicle was first sold to a customer, not when registered in the dealer’s name or when it was ordered from the manufacturer. If you are the first customer to own the car and the dealer or manufacturer claims that the warranty began when the vehicle was registered (usually when it was delivered to the car yard) then this is misleading and this tactic should be reported to Consumer Protection.
Also, dealers should not mislead the customer when advertising the sale of demo vehicles by suggesting that the full warranty is something “thrown in” as a sales incentive rather than it being the customer’s legal entitlement.
Often consumers are not aware of this issue until they have to make a claim closer to the end of the warranty period and a dealer may say the warranty has run out, referring to the registration date not the purchase date.
If disputes over warranties between the dealer and consumer can’t be resolved, contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 and it will assist in resolving the matter, which may involve reminding dealers of their obligations under the law.