We purchased a new HONDA UMK450 Bike Handle Brushcutter in November 2020 in Queensland.
In December 2021 the gearbox failed and we lodged a warranty claim.
Question: Under consumer law is Honda able to keep us waiting for months before they provide the replacement part? Or does Honda have a legal obligation to either repair or provide a replacement machine within a reasonable time period - say 6 weeks? While global supply chain issues are affecting many businesses - having in stock this part we believe is reasonable.
We would appreciate any guidance from members on this. Not having equipment available on a country property creates issues and we cannot afford to hire a replacement machine at $50-$60 per day.
If the business fails to give you a free repair within a reasonable time or cannot fix your problem, you can:
get it done elsewhere and pass on the costs to the business*
ask for a replacement*
ask for a refund*
recover compensation for the drop in value below the price paid.*
What is a reasonable time is undefined. You theoretically have options you can pursue such as asking for a replacement or refund.
If in the first instance you are not satisfied immediately move to formality with a ‘Letter of Complaint’. Keep records of all conversations and anything less than formality is only idle chit chat toward a conclusion. You will find many links on the Community regarding the ACL, as well as advice on ‘Letter of Complaint’ tools on Choice and the ACCC web sites.
To add to the previous advice, please keep in mind that in normal circumstances most larger businesses close down for Christmas, sometimes well in advance of the actual day. Some businesses near me closed on the 17th! They may not reopen until the mid or even end of January.
Add to that the issues of businesses being closed due to COVID spread or even lockdowns that you will be familiar with. It may well be that the business you dealt with or the Honda offices the business needs to get approval from may have been understaffed or even closed since you dropped in your brushcutter.
There have been many discussions on the forum about the lack of spare parts in Australia for relatively new products. You would think that spares are readily available, but often aren’t. Sometimes the spare parts just don’t exist anymore at all.
While I understand the inconvenience to you, I think in the circumstances you would do well to be patient and understanding. Ring, email, or attend the business where you left your brushcutter and politely enquire as to where the repair/replacement process is up to. See if you can get a timeline from them. If you are not satisfied with the response, or if there isn’t one, then write as advised above.
It’s a current Honda model and from the top end of the product range.
Honda may have been caught short not expecting failures, or are being cautious about identifying the cause of failure. Our local service agents stay open for sales over Xmas, but loose service staff to the school holidays. Before Xmas the local small equipment specialist I prefer had a backlog of 4-6 weeks. That was without any leave happening.
As to availability of a replacement gear head, Honda Australia always have the option to substitute a replacement head from unsold stock if they do not have a spare readily available. It’s not the type of failure some of us might expect on a 12 month old big brand heavy duty brush cutter.
Thanks. We have a very good relationship with our local Honda equipment dealer. They have now agreed to go back to Honda and request that they be permitted to substitute a replacement head from their unsold stock. If this is agreed by Honda then it would be a sensible outcome.