What to do if you have a complaint?
- If you have a complaint, we are committed to ensuring that your complaint is handled fairly, efficiently and transparently and in compliance with our obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
Your rights under the ACL
- Ford is committed to complying with the ACL including the consumer guarantees. This Charter provides a summary of your main entitlements under the ACL consumer guarantees as they relate to Ford vehicles and (as described above) outlines our processes for handling customer complaints in line with our ACL obligations.
You can find more information about your rights by visiting the ACCC’s websitewww.accc.gov.au/consumerguarantees.
Under Australian law, when you buy products and services they come with automatic guarantees that they will work and do what you asked for, under what is referred to as Australia’s consumer guarantee rights.
If something goes wrong with your vehicle, you may be entitled to a remedy under the consumer guarantees as well as the manufacturer’s warranty or any extended warranty you might have.
Your statutory consumer guarantee rights cannot be replaced, limited or removed by any agreement, contract or warranty, or made subject to non-disclosure conditions.
They apply to vehicles for an unspecified but reasonable time, and are subject to certain exceptions (eg. if the reason for the damage is abnormal consumer use).
These rights include that your vehicle must:
- be of acceptable quality (including that it is as safe, durable and free from defects as a reasonable consumer would believe is acceptable);
- be fit for any purpose disclosed before the sale;
- match the description provided or demo model; and
- have spare parts and repair facilities available for a reasonable period of time.
These rights apply regardless of whether or not an independent operator (eg. a non-Ford dealer) services or repairs your vehicle.
Further details regarding the consumer guarantees are summarised in the table below.
ACL consumer guarantees
A vehicle is of acceptable quality if it is as safe, durable, free from defects, acceptable in appearance and finish and does everything that it is commonly used for as a reasonable consumer fully acquainted with the state and condition of the vehicle would regard as acceptable.
If your vehicle fails to meet the consumer guarantees
If your vehicle fails to meet a consumer guarantee, you have rights against whoever supplied you the vehicle (eg. the dealer), and in some cases against the manufacturer (eg. Ford). In particular, you may be entitled to a repair, replacement, refund or compensation for a drop in the vehicle’s value if your vehicle fails to meet the consumer guarantees. The remedy you are entitled to, and who chooses the remedy, will depend on whether the failure is major or minor.
This type of failure happens when:
- your vehicle cannot be fixed or it is too difficult to fix your vehicle within a reasonable time (eg. your vehicle develops excessive jerking due to a manufacturing defect that cannot be repaired, or is too difficult to repair within a reasonable time);
- if, as a reasonable consumer who was fully aware of the nature and extent of the failure, you would not have bought the vehicle (eg. your vehicle suddenly and unexpectedly loses power due to a manufacturing defect);
- the failure prevents you from using your vehicle and it cannot be fixed in a reasonable time (eg. your vehicle is not drivable due to a manufacturing defect and is incapable of being repaired in a reasonable time); or
- the failure creates an unsafe situation (eg. your vehicle has a fault that affects your ability to brake or steer the vehicle easily).
Type of remedy
- You can ‘reject the vehicle’ (which typically requires you to return it) and choose between a repair, replacement or refund. You should clearly advise the supplier that sold you the vehicle (eg. the dealer) if you intend to reject it, and explain why – eg. the vehicle is not drivable, or the vehicle was not repaired within a reasonable time, etc. Alternatively, you can choose to keep the vehicle and seek compensation for a drop in the vehicle’s value.
- You may also be able to recover ‘reasonably foreseeable’ damages for any loss or damage you suffered from the supplier that sold you the vehicle (eg. the dealer), or in some cases from the manufacturer (eg. Ford).
This type of failure happens when:
- your vehicle can be fixed, or the problem can be resolved, within a reasonable time (eg. your vehicle’s engine develops a slight rattling noise that doesn’t interfere with its ordinary operation, and can be successfully repaired within a reasonable time).
Type of remedy
- The supplier that sold you the vehicle (eg. the dealer) can choose to repair or replace your vehicle, or to offer you a refund.
- Any repairs must be done within a reasonable time and without charge.
- However, you may choose the remedy if the repair is not done in a reasonable time. In this case, you may request a free replacement or a refund. You may also seek a repair elsewhere and be able to recover the costs, as well as any ‘reasonably foreseeable’ loss or damage you suffered as a result of the failure, from the supplier that sold you the vehicle (eg. the dealer), or in some cases from the manufacturer (eg. Ford).
Lastly, in addition to complying with these obligations under the consumer guarantees, Ford and dealers must not mislead you, as to your rights under the consumer guarantees or in relation to a Ford vehicle.
Where the Consumer Guarantees do not apply.
The consumer guarantees are subject to certain exceptions. For example:
- Certain guarantees (including the guarantee of acceptable quality) do not apply where you bought your vehicle:
- from a one-off sale by a private seller; o
- by way of ‘sale by auction’.
- The guarantee of acceptable quality does not apply if:
- you caused the vehicle to become of unacceptable quality;
- you used your vehicle abnormally;
- you examined the vehicle before you bought it and this examination should have revealed that it was not of acceptable quality; or
- if the dealer alerted you to the defect before you purchased it.
- You cannot reject your vehicle and seek a full refund or replacement if:
- the rejection period has passed (being the period of time from when you bought the vehicle within which it would be reasonable to expect the relevant failure to comply with a consumer guarantee to become apparent);
- you have lost, destroyed or disposed of your vehicle; or
- your vehicle was damaged after being delivered to you for reasons not related to a fault in your vehicle.
How do your rights under the ACL relate to Ford’s Express New Vehicle Warranty and any extended warranty?
Manufacturers and dealers must honour your consumer guarantee rights regardless of any commercial warranties they give to you or sell you.
Rights you have under Ford’s Express New Vehicle Warranty and any extended warranty which you may have purchased are in addition to your rights under the ACL.
This means that if there has been a breach of the consumer guarantees, you may still be entitled to a repair, a refund or a replacement vehicle, compensation for drop in value or compensation for reasonably foreseeable loss or damage whether or not the vehicle is within or outside the manufacturer’s warranty.
As a reminder, you can find more information about your rights by visiting the ACCC’s website www.accc.gov.au/consumerguarantees