The New South Wales government will today introduce new laws into State Parliament, designed to combine two existing motor vehicle acts.
The Motor Dealers Act 1974 and the Motor Vehicle Repairs Act 1980 will be merged under new legislation, known as the Motor Dealers And Repairers Act 2013.
NSW Minister for Fair Trading, Anthony Roberts, said the new laws would provide greater protection for consumers while supporting businesses in the motor industry.
Changes to the new act include doubling the penalty for odometer tampering, reducing business licence categories from 22 to just three and granting more power to Fair Trading inspectors (see below for the full list).
“Contract disputes or unjust conduct between dealers and manufacturers will be mediated by the Small Business Commissioner,” Mr Roberts said.
“If a dispute cannot be resolved, dealers may take the issue to the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) which can make enforceable orders.”
Chief Executive of the Motor Traders’ Association NSW (MTANSW), Greg Patten, said the new legislation will provide motor dealers and repairers with the ability to conduct their business in a manner that will ensure quality service provision to consumers in NSW.
“The legislation is mutually beneficial to both consumers and business; the MTANSW commends the Minister and the NSW Government,” Mr Patten said.
“This is truly a win-win for everybody.”
The consultation process between government and industry for the new legislation began in November 2011, followed by a ‘discussion paper’ in May 2012 and meetings with consumer and industry representatives.
CHANGES UNDER MOTOR DEALERS AND REPAIRERS ACT 2013
- Penalties for odometer tampering doubled from $11,000 to $22,000
- The Motor Dealers Compensation Fund to be combined with a Repairers Fund with limits on claims increased from $30,000 to $40,000
- Jurisdictional limit for a used vehicle dispute in the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) increased from $30,000 to $40,000
- Fair Trading inspectors able to issue orders to a licensed dealer or repairer to fix faults without the consumer having to resort to legal action
- Business licence categories reduced from 22 to just three
- Licence exemptions allowed for simple repair work that does not impact on vehicle safety, such as fitting basic accessories, including windscreen wipers and roof racks
- Choice of a three year or annual licence to allow businesses to choose the renewal option that suits them best