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Ford receives $10 million penalty for unconscionable conduct

Monday 30 April 2018


Ford Motor Company Australia has been found to have acted unconscionably in the way it dealt with its PowerShift transmission cars and has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay $10 million in penalties.

“Despite knowing that shuddering was a symptom of the quality issues with the vehicles, Ford frequently told customers that shuddering was the result of the customer’s driving style. Ford knew the quality issue symptoms were experienced intermittently but required customers to demonstrate them on demand in the presence of a dealer in order for repairs to be undertaken,” said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman, Rod Sims.

Sims added that Ford’s actions included scenarios where refunds were refused, even though consumers’ vehicles had undergone multiple repairs.

According to Sims, Ford went so far as to tell consumers that refunds and replacement vehicles were not an option, despite the fact that consumers were legally entitled to either solution.

While it was acknowledged that Ford had communicated to its dealers about the issues, they did not, however, provide adequate information.

“The Court’s decision is a reminder that businesses must have systems in place to properly review consumer claims for refunds or replacements. New car retailing is an enforcement and compliance priority for the ACCC, and we will take action against manufacturers we believe have breached the Australian Consumer Law,” Sims said.