Consumer guarantee – repairs and spare parts
Manufacturers guarantee to take reasonable steps to provide spare parts and repair facilities, a place that can fix the consumer’s goods, for a reasonable time after purchase.
If the manufacturer does not have an office in Australia, the importer takes on these responsibilities.
A consumer drops his digital camera, which he bought new a year ago for $2,000. He contacts the importer and asks where he can get it repaired. The importer advises they no longer supply parts for that model of camera. A reasonable consumer would expect a camera only one year old to be repairable. The supplier has not taken reasonable steps to provide spare parts or facilities.
How much time is ‘reasonable’?
This will depend on the type of goods. For instance:
- it would be reasonable to expect that tyres for a new car will be available for many years after its purchase; and
- it may not be reasonable to expect that spare parts for an inexpensive children’s toy are available at all.
When this guarantee does not apply
A manufacturer does not have to meet the guarantee on repairs and spare parts if they advised the consumer in writing, at the time of purchase, that repair facilities and spare parts would not be available after a specified time.
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