The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Jayco Corporation Pty Ltd (Jayco), Australia’s largest caravan and recreational vehicle manufacturer, alleging it breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by its conduct towards four customers who purchased defective Jayco caravans.
The ACCC alleges that, between 2013 and 2015, Jayco acted unconscionably towards four customers by obstructing them from obtaining redress, such as a refund or replacement for their defective caravan. Jayco allegedly did this despite knowing the caravans were defective and not functioning properly, even after repeated, and failed, repair attempts.
The ACCC also alleges Jayco made false or misleading representations to the four affected customers about their rights to obtain a refund or replacements for their defective caravan, including that Jayco represented that it had no role or responsibility to provide a remedy such as a refund or replacement vehicle.
“The numerous defects in the Jayco caravans sold to these four consumers became apparent at the time of purchase, or very soon after and included issues such as misalignment in the roof, which did not close properly and leaked,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers are entitled to a replacement or refund if there is a major failure with their product. In this case, the ACCC alleges that the four customers were each entitled to a refund or replacement from Jayco because the defects could not be repaired or constituted a major failure.”
“Despite requests from the four customers for a refund or replacement, the ACCC alleges that Jayco repeatedly told these four customers that their only remedy available was yet another repair. This understandably caused a lot of distress for the customers,” Mr Sims said.
“Caravans are an expensive item, typically costing tens of thousands of dollars. People are entitled to expect that the caravan they purchase will be of acceptable quality, and that they will be afforded an appropriate remedy under the ACL consumer guarantees if their caravan fails to meet this standard.”
The ACCC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, consumer redress orders, injunctions, disclosure and compliance program orders, and costs.
In conjunction with this court action, the ACCC is urging all caravan manufacturers to review their complaints handling processes to ensure that they comply with the ACL consumer guarantees.
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