Car needs a service?
information below is extracted from Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
Consumer Express publication, April 2005, Issue 1445-9671
It’s time to service
your car. Where do you turn? Someone has told you that if you don’t return to either
the business where you bought the car or an authorised agent of that business, your
warranty will be void. Is that true?
Can you get your car
serviced by someone other than the business or an authorised agent of the business
that sold the car without voiding the warranty? The short answer is ‘yes’.
Though there are some
New vehicle warranty
Where a problem arises
with the vehicle that is covered under the warranty, the vehicle should be taken to
the dealer for repair. These repairs should be done free of charge under the warranty.
New and used vehicle
In relation to
general servicing, motor vehicle dealers are entitled to insist that any servicing
performed on cars they sell is carried out by qualified staff, according to the
manufacturer’s specifications, and using genuine
or appropriate quality parts
where required. Provided these conditions
are met, regardless of where you choose to get your car serviced, your warranty will
remain intact. So shop smart and shop around.
Qualified staff is a
party or parties, other than an ‘authorised dealer’, who is capable of performing
car servicing. Some servicing venues display qualification certificates, but if you’re
not sure the staff are qualified, just ask.
If an independent
agent implies that it can perform general car servicing to manufacturers’
specifications and does not perform that function satisfactorily, then you have rights
and remedies against the agent
regardless of whether the agent has factory qualifications or not.
Genuine or appropriate
The issue here is
not who manufactured the part/s, it is whether the part/s are fit or appropriate for
the purpose intended. If a part is non-genuine, but is interchangeable with the
genuine part, it could be seen as being fit or appropriate for the purpose and would
therefore not void the manufacturer’s warranty. However, it must also be noted that
should the part/s installed fail or not perform satisfactorily, the consumer then has
rights against the fitter and/or manufacturer of those replacement parts. If the
non-genuine part fails, and causes some other damage to the vehicle, the dealer
and vehicle manufacturer will not be liable for damage caused by the failure of that
Thus, provided consumers do research and
ensure that wherever they take a vehicle for servicing, the staff are qualified and
all other provisions above are met, the warranty will be safely intact for the