CHOICE membership

Consumer warning for Subaru WRX STI owners! Service provided by Crossroads Subaru @ Glendale NSW

I’m not suggesting that home warranty insurance arrangements are a cake walk.

I can only speak from experience. In NSW there’s a 6 year statutory warranty on major building defects and 2 years on minor defects. Getting an engineer (or in some cases licenced builder) to report on an obvious and often visible/accessible building defect is usually cheaper, easier and more conclusive than trying to do anything with mechanical engineers in a situation where conclusive proof is simply much harder to nail down. For example, if foundations fail it’s pretty obvious and you don’t have to conduct scientific analysis to prove why they failed. In the OP’s case an engineer would have to run a controlled test with the right oil and the wrong oil, analyse the results and then conclusively rule out any other factors that could have caused the failure. Nearly impossible and very, very expensive compared to what could be gained.

In my experience with statutory building warranty a Fair Trading Inspector visited the house, could readily see the issues, reviewed the report by a licensed builder, and an order was struck. I’ve been down this path once and it was actually quite refreshing as I expected a total cluster. Maybe I was just lucky. The Home Bldg Compo Fund might not be perfect, but no such thing exists for vehicles.

I’ve been through a tribunal once for a matter involving an engine that was rebuilt by a dealership but never ran right and then blew itself to bits. Essentially the dealership’s behaviour was disgraceful and they had a lot more wriggle room than the builder did while the case took much longer to resolve. Again, maybe I was just lucky.


The QBCC will come and inspect building work as part of the complaint resolution process. If there is found to be a fault, not only will repairs be authorised if necessary, but the practitioner liable for the fault will be given a warning which is publicly reported for a period of 5 years (I used the process a few years ago and the Building Certifier has just lost his public warning notification).

In the case of a motor vehicle, there is no similar process. If the dealer and distributor claim it is ok - well it is. Considering that some motor vehicles are close to the same cost as the construction of major additions/a small house, there has to be some oversight.