Holden has introduced a 60-day refund or replacement scheme for customers who experience major problems during their first two months of ownership following an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
After a number of complaints against Holden, the ACCC determined it is “likely to have contravened the consumer law” in a number of ways, in some cases refusing to repair cars serviced outside its dealer network or purchased second-hand.
Chairman of the ACCC, Rod Sims said Holden “misrepresented to some consumers that it had discretion to decide whether the vehicle owner would be offered a refund, repair or replacement for a car with a manufacturing fault, and that any remedy was a goodwill gesture”.
New protocols developed by Holden in conjunction with the ACCC will see consumers offered a refund or replacement in instances where a defect prevents cars from being driveable within two months of purchase.
Called the 60 Day Policy, Holden describes the voluntary program as providing its customers with “a quick and easy remedy if their new vehicle experiences a defect that causes certain outcomes to occur within the first 60 days from the date of purchase of the vehicle”.
Holden will also makes changes to its operational procedures to ensure staff training incorporates correct, up-to-date information about consumer law and consumer rights, reviewing recent complaints and being more open with customers.
Holden’s executive director of customer experience, Peter Jamieson, says “we do recognise there have been some situations in the past where we could have done better”.
“At times our responses to customers have been too heavily influenced by vehicle warranties,” he says. “We have been proactive in reviewing how we respond to customer issues.”
Sims welcomed Holden’s response.
“These are great commitments that will have a significant and positive impact for consumers,” he says.
“The Australian Consumer Law includes consumer guarantees that provide remedies for major and minor faults in motor vehicles. The consumer guarantees operate separately to the manufacturer’s warranty, and cannot be modified to require consumers to have their vehicles serviced by authorised dealers in order to obtain a remedy.”
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