- Owners of Jaguars and Land Rovers have recently commenced a class action against Jaguar Land Rover
- The owners are claiming that Jaguar Land Rover Australia have breached the Australian Consumer Law as a result of defective parts in their vehicles.
Various owners of Jaguars and Land Rovers have recently commenced Federal Court proceedings against Jaguar Land Rover Australia over defects in their diesel vehicles. The defects have led to claims that the vehicles are not safe, reliable, durable or fit for purpose and accordingly breach The Australian Consumer Laws.
The Australian Consumer Law
The Australian Consumer Law (“ACL”) sets out the basic rights of consumers when purchasing goods and services in Australia. The ACL automatically confers guarantees and warranties by businesses engaging in the consumer market.
Some of these guarantees relate to the sale of goods including that goods are fit for purpose and are in accordance with the description at the time of purchase.
The ACL also sets out obligations to prevent businesses from using misleading and deceptive conduct to confuse and deceive consumers.
The Claim and Acceptable Quality
The primary complaint of the owners (Plaintiffs) of the Jaguars and Land Rovers relates to the DPF system in the Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles which are allegedly prone to becoming blocked under regular driving conditions. The Plaintiffs claim that the fault DPF system has caused suffering and loss as a result of Jaguar Land Rover Australia’s failure to comply with guarantees of acceptable quality.
Section 54 of the ACL provides a guarantee that goods are of acceptable quality. When assessing the guarantee of ‘acceptable quality’, consideration will be had to what a reasonable person would consider to be a quality good with regard to the durability.
In this case, the Plaintiffs will need to show that in consideration of the nature of the vehicles (including price), that a reasonable person would consider that the DPF system should be in working order for a decent period of time in order to meet the criteria of good quality and durability.
The Claim and Misleading and Deceptive Conduct
In addition to claims regarding the acceptable quality of the vehicles, the Plaintiffs also claim that Jaguar Land Rover Australia engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct when advertising the vehicles and the operation of the DPF systems.
Pursuant to section 18 of the ACL misleading and deceptive conduct is prohibited. What conduct or advertisement amounts to misleading and deceptive conduct is dependent on the circumstances surrounding the conduct. For example, mere puffery or exaggeration are not considered misleading and deceptive and regard will be had to the audience that the advertisement is marketed to.
Reports suggest that the Plaintiffs are seeking compensation in consideration of the decreased value of their vehicles claiming that Plaintiffs paid in excess of market value. The Plaintiffs are further seeking compensation for the excess GST, stamp duty, luxury car tax and financing costs incurred as a result of the inflated purchase prices of the vehicles.
Response from Jaguar Land Rover Australia
Jaguar Land Rover Australia have made comment noting that their products are of high quality and in compliance with industry standards. It appears that Jaguar Land Rover Australia at this stage will be defending the proceedings brought against them.
Watch this Space!
It will be interesting to see the outcome of the claims made by the Plaintiffs. Stay tuned to watch this case unfold.
Should you have any concerns regarding the ACL and in particular feel as though a good or service you have acquired is not in line with consumer guarantees, our commercial litigation team at Coutts is able to provide advice to you on your consumer entitlements and possible claims available to you.
Contact Coutts today.
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