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  • Writer's pictureRaymond Duffy

Warranties against defects: Australian Consumer Law

Where the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) applies:

  • consumers are covered under statutory consumer guarantees;

  • but, in addition, manufacturers often also give their own promises or express warranties about goods they manufacture.

Where an express warranty is given by a manufacturer:

  • manufacturers must comply with the express warranty; and

  • the warranty must be in the form prescribed by the ACL.

The Competition and Consumer Regulations 2010 (Cth) deals with the form and content where a warranty against defects is given (such as in a warranty card or warranty statement).

For example, Regulation 90 sets out the relevant details that must be included in the express warranty in regards to the supply of goods:

Supply of Goods ONLY - wording

"Our goods come with guarantees that cannot be excluded under the Australian Consumer Law. You are entitled to a replacement or refund for a major failure and compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage. You are also entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced if the goods fail to be of acceptable quality and the failure does not amount to a major failure".

Further specific details must be provided in any document purporting to be a warranty against defects.

Pecuniary penalties can be imposed on a seller that does not comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements. Also, non-compliance, such as by failing to include the prescribed text or otherwise making representations which do not reflect the obligations under the consumer guarantee provisions (if applicable), can amount to misleading or deceptive conductor false representation.

The ACL does not apply to everyone, that is, not everyone is classified as a "consumer" for the purpose of the ACL and entitled to the protections under consumer guarantees.

But, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) provides various other rights & obligations on top of the consumer guarantees. So, even if the ACL does not apply, the CCA may still apply.

If you need help with a consumer law matter, contact Greyson Legal.

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