Commissioner's blog: Stopping unsafe car sales
Many people have heard of the ‘yellow sticker’ defect notices used to take unroadworthy cars off our streets, but less well known are the ‘green stickers’ used by Consumer Protection to stop dodgy vehicles being sold at car-yards.
Automotive officers from Consumer Protection regularly carry out random inspections at dealerships and place green “Unfit for Sale” stickers on vehicles that have defects and are considered unsafe or unroadworthy.
During their inspections last year, the team prevented the sale of 68 unroadworthy vehicles, with most defects involving bald tyres, cracked windscreens, as well as faulty or frayed seatbelts. Other safety issues identified included a missing wing-mirror and a non-compliant LPG tank that was possibly dangerous.
It is unacceptable for a dealer to sell defective vehicles, as they can pose a great danger to the occupants and other road users. Used vehicles being sold by dealers must at the very least be safe, even if they are an older model or being offered for sale at a cheap price.
A vehicle issued with a ‘green sticker’ cannot be sold until the dealer arranges for the defect to be fixed and an inspection undertaken at an approved Department of Transport facility. Alternatively, the dealer can choose to de-licence the vehicle.
When car-hunting, buyers should inspect used vehicles thoroughly and ensure the tyre tread is adequate, windscreen is not damaged and seat belts are in good working order, making sure all seatbelts are tested, not just the driver’s one.
We strongly suggest getting vehicles inspected by a qualified licensed mechanic as there could be other problems that won’t be picked up by an untrained eye.
We also recommend reviewing the Properties Securities Register at www.ppsr.gov.au before purchase to see whether the car has been previously written off or has money owing on it.
More information on buying a motor vehicle is available on the Consumer Protection website where complaints about unroadworthy vehicles can be lodged online. Enquiries can be made by email email@example.com or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
Executive Director - Consumer Protection
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