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Have you ever had trouble getting a refund or replacement for your new lemon car? Tell us about it!



It should be easy to get a refund when your new car doesn’t work due to a manufacturing defect but unfortunately that’s rarely the case. Instead new car owners stuck with lemons spend countless hours waiting at the repair shop, liaising with their car dealer or scrutinising the manufacturer’s warranty. This shouldn’t be the way. When a new car, just like any other product, is faulty and doesn’t work, you should be able to easily get a remedy of your choosing, like a refund or replacement.

We’re getting into gear to launch a new campaign on lemon cars, but first we need your help. If you’ve ever bought a new car that was so faulty you couldn’t drive it in the first 2 months of owning it, can you share your story with us? You can post it here or send it in to

With your help we can drive change together.



In the early years of this millennium, my wife and I traded in a Honda for a new Citroen. This car had endless problems, from breaking down regularly to tail lights not working (are you sure your wife driving behind you could see properly?) to the alarm going off endlessly while the car was sitting quietly in our garage. The dealer seemed more interested in its Porsche customers, and constantly fobbed us off.

I eventually wrote to Citroen Australia, and they did… nothing. I think I got a form letter back about it, but it’s somewhere buried in the files and - well - it’s all just too painful.

We ended up trading the dud Citroen in for a one year old Mitsubishi Magna, and a year later went back to get a second Magna. Both are running strong, and will be driven until their final demise.

The Citroen was our first and last new car. Happy to name and shame the dealership if you’d like, as the entire mess is fully documented.


edit: fixed link to point to intended post

That was probably when ATECO was the importer. They had a reputation of reputations. Since that post and after ATECO almost completely destroyed the marque Citroen moved on to the Peugeot importer Sime Darby, who could not get either of the French brands going. 2 years ago Inchcape became importer who had a good record with Subaru, but them taking on PSA cars was not well done as evidenced by internet chats at the time.

During ATECO’s time their dealerships reflected ATECO disinterest in customers who had accepted their keys and driven off. Responses to problems were a circus of ‘making it go away’.

Back to the topic, not only is there a worry about our lack of serious consumer protection for vehicles in fact rather than just theory, sometimes the ultimate responsible party supposedly supporting a dealer can be a moving target that is not the manufacturer or their subsidiary, but is an importer ‘of the moment’, and some try to make it right but are not up to doing so. Others pride themselves in slick web sites and don’t care about much else expect dollars coming in and none going out.


The lemon just doen’t apply to new cars. Older cars sometimes develop systemic faults that the manufacturers refuse to acknowledge.

While I acknowlege that the ACL would and should apply to new cars, perhaps keep in mind challenges faced by car owners who have older vehicles that have developed serious flaws which by the volume of complaints on the internet indicate that it is a systemic failure.


Takata airbags being one issue that should be subject to lemon laws even on older cars. Would someone have bought the vehicle if they had know of the fault? Isn’t that part of the ACL rights of a consumer?