An auto dealer who sold a disabled woman a luxury sedan that turned out to be a lemon has been forced to give her a refund and collect the broken-down Mercedes.
An auto dealer who sold a disabled woman a luxury sedan that turned out to be a lemon has been forced to give her a refund and collect the broken-down Mercedes.

Dealer who sold disabled woman a lemon ordered to pay refund

A DARWIN auto dealer who sold a disabled Katherine woman a "luxury sedan" that turned out to be a lemon has been forced to give her a refund and collect the broken-down Mercedes.

The NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard 43-year-old Carina Hayes, who has cerebral palsy, drove up to Darwin Auto Motors to look at the 2004 C180 Kompressor in May 2019.

Manager Shamir Hossain showed her the car and she agreed to buy it for the asking price of $2990 after being shown a list of "known defects", including faded body paint and a worn interior.

As she was driving away, Ms Hayes noticed the steering wheel was moving on its own, the rear-view mirror was missing and a window button didn't work.

She went back to the dealer and asked for the defects to be fixed or she be given another car. Mr Hossain showed her a Toyota Corolla with a broken back window.

When Ms Hayes told him that car was unacceptable, he told her to get the window button fixed at her expense, wrapped a piece of cardboard around the steering wheel to keep it in place and affixed a "stick on" rear-view mirror.

Less than two weeks later when Ms Hayes's daughter was driving the car to Katherine, it overheated and stalled at Adelaide River and then started shaking and broke down again at Pine Creek.

The car started again but broke down for a final time in August.

A mechanic's report found several defects, including a leaking crank­shaft seal, dislodged fuel pump system and loose steering column.

Ms Hayes called the dealer and Mr Hossain told her to bring the car back to Darwin so he could "have a look at it", but she was unable to do so as it was unroadworthy and wouldn't start.

In ordering the dealer to give Ms Hayes a refund along with expenses for work done to the car, rego fees and interest on her loan, tribunal member Leslie McCrimmon said even when the Merc started, Ms Hayes could drive it for only about an hour a day.

"The cost of the registration was essentially wasted given the (dealer's) breach of the guarantee as to acceptable quality and as to fitness for any disclosed purpose," he said.

Mr McCrimmon ordered Darwin Auto Motors to pay Ms Hayes a total of $3808.19 and to collect the clapped out car at his own expense.

Originally published as Darwin auto dealer who sold disabled woman a lemon ordered to pay refund


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