Lemon cars advice

Hopefully this is the right spot for this.

My Hyundai i30 still has its new car warranty. I’ve now taken it back 4 times for the same very dangerous issue, which is getting worse. It has intermittant starting issues and the engine will randomly stop dead while I’m driving!

The dealer has now replaced the battery and the fuel filters (charged me for parts but not for labour) at different times and it’s still going on. It’s at the dealer for the fourth time now. I’ve asked them to escalate the issue within Hyundai, but they seem very reluctant. They say they will, but they don’t.

While they are being nice as pie to me with free loan cars etc, they seem to have no clue how to fix it and I’m terribly frustrated. I don’t want to drive the car again if the issue might still be there.

Any advice on my rights regarding the new car warranty and how I might go about escalating things if they won’t? What happens if they keep this up and my warranty expires?

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My advice would be to go directly to Hyundai Australia and don’t take no for an answer. Also consider writing to your local motoring editor for the major daily newspapers. They seem to have a fair amount of influence in these matters… Good luck.


Oh this is a gripe right up my alley, Car Warranty, in my opinion it is worthless and not worth the paper it’written on! Two new cars, both of excellent quality and world class, one with a hydraulic tappet noise which is not detrimental to the engine, but very annoying and told “The manufacture will not do anything about it” the other had 19 faults some minor and some dangerous. A fly by wire (electronic) operated throttle (accelerator) would lock and the speed of the vehicle could not be increased. An electric steering pump in lieu of the traditional engine driven pressure pump which would stop power assistance at 80kmh. This system would not give the driver any “feel” to what the front wheels were doing, making it seem like control was by a kids game joy stick. Extreme tyre noise into the vehicle making it almost mandatory to wear ear muffs to deaden the noise. Vicious sideways throwing, causing occupants to be jolted sideways making it the worst and most uncomfortable ride ever experienced and as a result is not driven. It seems like there are no springs in the vehicle.


Hi @ingesrealm,

Lemon cars are a problem that is far too common. Here is our advice:

  • Contact the dealer and the Australian head office of the car company
  • Make sure you put all your communications in writing
  • Mention the Australian Consumer Law and consumer guarantees
  • Mention “major failure”
  • Mention the ACCC and Fair Trading/Consumer Affairs

If this doesn’t work, you may have to take matters further, starting with a report to the ACCC. You can read the full article from @KateBrowne here:

Hang in there, and please keep us updated with your progress.


Thank you! I’ll let you know how I go.

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I know the I30 is winning all the small medium car sales at $20k drive away right now but I bought one a few years ago and it had a rough crunchy 2 nd gear change that reminded me of the old no-syncro Holden EH I once owned.

Took it back to the dealer several times and even had the Hyundai Regional people out to say “It is within specification” end of story !

I wrote some critical stuff on the Hyundai forum to warn others and bought a new Corolla. haven’t looked back since and never been happier with a car or the Toyota service. I’m not a dealer or employed byToyota.

Hyundai might have won the battle, but I’ve probably got 2 or 3 more new cars to buy in my life and all of friends and family now won’t buy a Hyundai.

Thanks for bringing your problem to air.


@dogman.obrien Getting a Corolla was a good thing . Toyota build and sell a new one every 37 seconds worldwide according to recently published sale figures .Says so after you Google it so must be right :)) . My mechanic is always harping on me to buy one . Used to have one , great car . Hyundai are a bit patchy on quality control in my opinion . I don’t work for Toyota either but I have worked in vehicle maintenance and serviced a lot of different makes of cars in my time at that job . I have a Suzuki Swift now but I think it will not be long before another Corolla is parked in the driveway . Proven performer .

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@john.coleman2 it must be a mazda if it has excessive tyre noise? Still an on going issue for many successive mazda models. It always surprises me that most other garden variety makes can make cars that are tyre noise free, but in my experience tyre noise complaints come mainly from mazda owners…

@ingesrealm i would say ‘pounds to peanuts’ you have a faulty crank position sensor it is a known reason for intermittent no start condition, random shutoff on many makes and models. it is hard to track down for technicians as it is intermittent and it rarely sets a fault code. there is no rhythm or reason but often heat is a contributor. I would ask your dealer to replace it.

I bought a Hyundai i30 new in 2010 and it has run well without any problems. Maybe yours was a “Friday” car (or whatever day is “off” in Slovakia or where it was made?)

Many years ago the US Car and Driver magazine had a satire road test of the venerable British Denbeigh Super Chauvinist Mk VII. The difference between the base and the Super was that the Super was built before 10:00 am before the assemblers got tired so that all Supers were symmetrical when viewed from front on. Sadly there does not seem to be a reprint I could find on the internet.

I recall a fiction book around the USA car industry. I think the author was Arthur (?) Hailey but I forget the title, I do remember the car being made- the “Betsy” - and that if disgruntled, a worker would slip a nut into the chassis to give an annoying rattle!

complain directly to Hyundai and see if that gets a response.

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They can’t all be bad. Our i30 diesel is nearly 7 years old, 90 000 km and has not missed a beat. I suppose with any mass-produced product there be some that fail to meet the grade. Good luck.

The VACC whinges that there are product categories with more complaints than vehicles so why should vehicle be targeted. Perhaps a bit self serving an arguement. They do not specify what they are, or if they are $20+,000 products.

If you have one of those some, you might think there should be some sort of lemon law. After all, the ACL (despite it sometimes being a toothless tiger if the company is not on board) mandates consumer protection on many products, why should motor vehicles (or caravans) be excluded?

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Here’s some updated advice for dealing with lemon cars, including advice on your rights under the law.


Queensland has/will introduced its own Lemon Laws for QCAT to administer…


My daughter bought a Fiat X500 from Leichhardt Fiat in June 2018. In the just over two years, she has had to have it towed four times and sent for repair at least a further four times, all for the same problem - a warning light followed by the car not starting. The car is currently out of action again. There is an obvious flaw with the car, which Fiat service depots have been unable to fix. Where does she seek compensation? Fiat say it is the dealers’ issue, but Leichhardt Fiat ceased trading on 1 September 2019.


Welcome @Bron. Choice has been campaigning on this “lemon” car issue for years, sadly without success. But there is a car with a fault, it is presumably under manufacturers warranty, so it is Fiat Chrysler’s responsibility to deal with it. If the original dealer is no longer trading, then FCA should direct you to another one to handle the warranty issue.

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I moved your post into this relevant topic. Whether it is Fiat’s problem or the dealers may first depend on whether it was purchased new or used, and then what year the Fiat X500 is. If it is in warranty it is most likely Fiat’s problem whether or not your daughter is the first owner; if it is out of warranty it is going to be a more difficult situation. It reads as if your daughter bought someone else’s lemon.

Please reference the 4th and 15th posts in this topic by @BrendanMays, and that some states have state legislation as @phb posted just above.

I am not aware of anything that changed since the above, but there may have been something so best to reconfirm current status.

What is the error code? If you do not know it, you can buy a cheap device to read the computer codes. They usually point to the problem even if a list of potential problems. If there is no error code stored it is possible the underlying problem is the control module itself, often Very Expensive to replace or sometimes as a last resort one can be obtained on the used market.

Would these be dealerships or independent specialists? I took my Citroen to an independent specialist for a few years and finally realised they had no clue :open_mouth: I took it to a local generalist shop and they told me more about my car in 10 minutes than the specialist did in the 4 years I had been taking it to them, including getting resolution to a long standing error code problem that should not have been a challenge to get right.

FWIW Fiat Chrysler appears to have a less than exemplary history in many regards. You can search on customer satisfaction and support experiences on this forum and the internet for each of their brands, especially Jeep.


I’d love to know how @ingesrealm went with her Hyundai. When I read the post I was immediately transported to a time when this happened to me, wth my Suzuki Ignis. It was well out of warranty, so the local guys fixed it. It required replacement of both crank angle sensor and cam angle sensor. Happened maybe 7 years ago and I haven’t had that problem ever again.

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