We have recently purchased a custom built caravan. Unfortunately the manufacturer did not deliver a product that met our expected quality standards, they did not install appliances per the supplier installation instructions, the agreed design was altered such that;
*agreed components were replaced with other components that don’t perform as required
*altered dimensions render spaces, intended for a specific purpose, not fit for purpose (the purpose was known to the manufacturer)
*height of the kitchen at 1.35m makes it unsafe to use and impractical to reach
*step up into caravan too high even with utilizing the built in single fold out step.
We have encountered significant sway of the van even after ensuring total weight and ball weight was correct.
We have contacted the manufacturer in person and in writing regarding the issues and our dissatisfaction however they are referring to a clause in their standard form contract that ‘ Dimensions and measurements are approximations and alterations without notice may be required during manufacturing’ to justify all changes. We believe the manufacturer is engaging in deceptive conduct in relying on this clause to justify non-compliance with the specifications when it was reasonable and appropriate to reflect their intentions in the planning phase, as this was foreseeable based on their skill and experience. The plans were clear and dimensions were accepted by them. The clause is misleading as it implies the need for changes if during the manufacturing process a change needs to be made that was not foreseeable or immaterial. However, we were advised that the sales person, engineer and production manager had reviewed the plans that we had drawn up and they confirmed the plans were acceptable. It is deceitful to advise so if the plans were not reviewed thoroughly enough, or the design was changed to make the build simpler for them. We relied on their expertise to agree on plans and dimensions that were able to be delivered during the manufacturing process.
We suspect that:
*Our plans were not reviewed in sufficient detail by the manufacturer in the planning process, and they agreed to the plans knowing they could rely on the clause above to make changes during manufacturing.
*The plans were insufficient or not fully relayed to reproduction team to ensure they built what we wanted
*Their engineering understanding may be incorrect and the caravan chassis does not meet standards.
We plan to take the matter to NCAT. Our questions are:
*Is this the correct form of action to take and what tips do you have to make a strong case?
- What is the name of an expert that can inspect the caravan and provide a report for our NCAT submission regarding compliance to build standards?
*Is there someone that can inspect the caravan and report on incorrect installation of appliances and components, impractical design regarding things like height of kitchen, step etc?
Any other information that may assist?