The new laws to protect drivers
QUEENSLAND motorists will get strong new protections if they have been sold a dud car under new "lemon laws" to be introduced into State Parliament today.
The limit for motor vehicle claims that can be heard at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal will be increased from $25,000 to $100,000, as Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath moves to make it easier for people sold a lemon to pursue dealers in court.
Caravans and motorhomes will also be reclassified as vehicles to ensure their owners are better protected, while the statutory warranty on older used cars will be reinstated.
"If a consumer cannot obtain a suitable remedy … under Australian Consumer Law, they have the option of seeking a remedy through QCAT or the courts," Ms D'Ath said.
"Easier access to QCAT helps consumers avoid a long and expensive court case, often against the resources of large corporations."
Ms D'Ath said the reinstatement of statutory warranties for older used cars would mean there would be a requirement for motor dealers to provide a warranty for cars more than 10 years old or that have clocked up more than 160,000km.
It follows a parliamentary inquiry into potential laws in 2015 and three years of lobbying for changes on a federal level as well.
Sunshine Coast man Ashton Wood spectacularly destroyed his Jeep Cherokee after failing to find any remedy under current federal and state laws.
His attempt to seek a remedy through QCAT had failed because his Jeep was worth almost twice the tribunal's current $25,000 claim limit.
He eventually had his Jeep destroyed and said the new laws would ensure more consumers were protected.
"The idea of a tribunal, a QCAT system, is to enable access to people who need to get some sort of legal assistance without having the huge costs of lawyers and other fees around that and court costs," Mr Wood said.
"By expanding this to $100,000 it actually allows anyone who has a motor vehicle with problems to take it into the tribunal system and have a mediator look at it and hopefully get a solution.
"This is a person's second biggest investment. For most people their biggest is their home and their car is the next one. A lot of people have got finance tied to it as well."
But he said more needed to be done at a federal level.
Ms D'Ath said work was under way to strengthen national law as well, but she was pushing for more to be done.