$18,000 in fines for Victoria Park car yard (Park Auto Centre)
Issue Date: - Tuesday, 14 August 2012
An East Victoria Park car yard and two of its Directors have been fined a total of $18,000 after misleading customers about a vehicle they were selling.
Fanfare Pty Ltd, trading as Park Auto Centre in Albany Highway, and Directors Gregory John Norris and Philip Carl Doherty were fined $6,000 each by the Perth Magistrates Court on 10 August 2012 and ordered to pay Court costs totalling $1,276.
The company and its Directors pleaded guilty to making false and misleading representations to consumers, breaching the Fair Trading Act 1987.
Lawyers for Consumer Protection told the court that, in March 2009, the car yard falsely claimed in a newspaper advertisement and in the ’Vehicle Particulars and Warranty’ slip on the dashboard that a 2005 Ford Territory Ghia had only one previous owner when in fact it had seven previous owners. The car yard also claimed that the vehicle was an ‘all wheel drive’ when in fact it was only a ‘two wheel drive’ vehicle.
During sentencing, Magistrate Barbara Lane took into consideration that the car yard had exchanged the two wheel drive vehicle for a suitable all wheel drive vehicle, but told the Court that it had taken too long for the car yard to do so. The Magistrate said that there was a need to deter members of the motor vehicle industry from making false representations.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said car dealers must ensure that claims they are making about vehicles offered for sale are truthful.
“Since the introduction of the Australian Consumer Law in January 2011, there are now substantial fines that Courts can impose on those who mislead consumers,” Ms Driscoll said.
“The financial penalties involved, as well as the damage to a trader’s reputation, provide a powerful incentive to businesses to ensure that claims being made in advertisements and to customers verbally are truthful.”
Consumers who have any complaints or concerns about being misled can contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or email@example.com .
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(Consumer Protection is a division of the Department of Commerce)
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