AADA CEO Bruce McDonald represented the retail automotive industry at a recent Parliament Committee hearing into proposed ‘Lemon Laws’.

The Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee met at the Queensland Parliament House on October 9 to conduct a public hearing into the consumer protections and remedies for buyers of new motor vehicles. More specifically, motor vehicles with numerous severe defects that reoccur despite multiple repair attempts, or where defects have caused a new motor vehicle to be out of service for a prolonged period of time, i.e. a ‘lemon’.

Following AADA’s submission to the Committee in October, Mr McDonald attended the hearing to present the case for the franchised new vehicle dealer network. This submission is available to read on the AADA website. Mr McDonald restated AADA’s position that current consumer protections under the Australian Consumer Law are adequate.

Mr McDonald told the Committee AADA members have made significant investments in staff and facilities, including specialised tooling and country-specific diagnostic equipment. Motor vehicle Dealers compete fiercely for high customer satisfaction ratings in sales and service in order to retain their franchises.

AADA supports the current national and consistent generic approach to consumer protection and guarantees. It avoids regulatory duplication and inconsistency through industry-specific regulation, and enhances productivity.

Mr McDonald said enactment of Queensland industry-specific laws such as those under consideration could lead to unintended consequences and place Queensland motor vehicle Dealers at a competitive disadvantage relative to Dealers in other states and territories. Such a law would fail to recognise the national consumer market in which distributors and Dealers operate.

Participants to the hearing represented a range of industry associations, legal advisory bodies, consumer groups and lobby groups, who each provided a submission to the Committee.

Mr McDonald was joined in presenting to the Committee by Tony Weber, Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, and MTA Queensland General Manager Kellie Dewar.

AADA will contribute to work with these fellow automotive industry associations in advocating in the best interests of the industry. On November 30, the Committee reported to the Queensland Parliament, recommending uniform national laws.

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