Contract for new Volkswagen

I’m buying a new Volkswagen T-cross and there are a couple of odd things in the Terms and conditions of the contract - I’m wondering if anyone has come across the same thing.

  1. Point 7(d) says that Volkswagen don’t warrant that “any airbag that is supposed to be be fitted to the vehicle is in fact fitted and operational”. I get that it might not be possible to guarantee that the air bags are operational but surely they can warrant that they’re fitted. Is it just a poorly worded sentence?
  2. Point 7(e) says that I’ve inspected the vehicle and confirm that it’s acceptable. Clearly at the time of signing the contract I haven’t inspected the vehicle as it’s not yet available so signing this makes no sense.

I can and will ask the dealer, but any thoughts will be greatly appreciated - thanks!

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Welcome to the Community @Georgie67

Clearly those two terms are nonsense. Airbags are mandatory in Australia, and as you point out how can one agree to the second term before you have inspected the car.

Is this some contract of sale from an authorized VW dealer?

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Not all airbags, only full frontal are mandatory. Some manufacturers now include side curtain, ceiling, knee, seatbelt etc airbags which aren’t required to comply with ADR 69. If a Volkswagen model has non-mandated airbags, these could be left out as indicated in the wording. If they are omitted, ANCAP has indicated that removal of safety features could impact on stated safety rating.

The first clause, with shortages within car industry, Volkswagen might be including such conditions should they be unable to fit non-mandatory airbags for timely vehicle delivery. This is something VW will only be able to confirm.

The second point seems to refer to used cars…or the car on its collection. The contact could be a generic one for any vehicle purchased. If its intention was for a used vehicle, this condition should have been struck out before signing. Notwithstanding this, I wouldn’t be accepting the vehicle from VW until you have done a thorough inspection to ensure the vehicle has no defects/damage and things you have paid for (specified inclusions, additional options and accessories) are in, in or fixed to the vehicle.

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Strike the worrisome clauses and ask the dealership to initial acceptance and see how that goes.

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Is there a cooling off period for the contract and are you still within it?

A useful position given @PhilT direct advice.

Note:
It’s difficult to comment on the legal interpretation. There are accepted legal interpretations of how to read that type of clause. There may be an existing legal precedent for that very clause which differs.

The ACCC offers the following generic advice about

For the two terms and conditions in the contract that you are questioning it may be prudent to respond in writing (email with a read request, etc) with your objection to the two points.

Aside from the contract for purchase did the dealer at any time verbally advise or otherwise indicate that the vehicle airbag specification is not assured? The assumption is the contract has included a full specification listing for your vehicle.

Note that each state and territory has their own laws concerning motor dealerships and the purchase of vehicles. There may be further advice/clarification available from your government’s web resources and also your locale based automobile association.

Assume that in agreeing to the purchase you may have only paid the minimum deposit. My experience with new vehicle purchases is that there will be a delivery inspection. Also a requirement for the customer to sign for the vehicle as delivered concurrent with the final payment. As the purchaser one can determine if the colour and other non standard visual details are correct. If the vehicle offered a delivery is different in any way what would one do? The contract has not been met.

It still leaves a question re the airbags. Hopefully you are able to obtain a satisfactory answer in writing from the dealer.

P.S.
I have with previous vehicle purchases signed contracts with struck out or amended clauses, appropriately initialled by both parties adjacent to each change. It’s something a motor dealer should be familiar with.

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Legal speak that if you have an accident and you are injured if the air bag deploys you cannot take action against Volkswagen . The same applies if the airbag does not deploy .

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Maybe so.
I think that the OP has not quoted the exact wording of the two clauses, just the ‘vibe’.

A car sold in Australia must comply with the laws that apply to airbags so a new car must have factory fitted airbags, and they do what they are designed to do. Deploy when they are supposed to, and not deploy when not supposed to.

A car manufacturer cannot escape that with some clause that seems to attempt to deny any liability for legal mandates they fail to meet.

Thanks everyone - all your advice was much appreciated

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