Auto Torque 2nd edition

Auto torque is NSW Fair Trading’s e-newsletter for the automotive industry.
As a result of the response received from last editions poll question, we have planned information sessions as part of all upcoming community and regional access programs. Check our online events list and future editions of Auto torque for further details.
This editions poll question is ‘Have you used the Fair Trading website to find information about your business or the automotive industry’ ?

Send your comments or suggestions to

NSW bans the registration of repairable write-offs

The NSW Government will bring in new laws to ban the registration of repairable write-offs, taking effect in August this year.
The law will crack down on illegal car re-birthing, where the repairer uses stolen parts and registers the vehicle.
The law will ban the sale of repairable write-offs at auctions, excluding vehicles damaged by hail and some classic antique cars.
Car re-birthing is a risk to those who purchase the vehicles. The repairers are often unlicensed and the repairs do not meet industry standards.
NSW is the first State Government to introduce the ban, which provides better protection for consumers and the industry.

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Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) decides on hybrid vehicle

A recent claim before the CTTT related to the purchase of a second-hand hybrid vehicle with intermittent battery issues.
The vehicle owner purchased the hybrid and noticed problems straight away. The dealer attempted to fix the problem, but the problems continued.
The dealer stated that there were no problems with the battery since taking possession and the problems were due to the use of the wrong fuel.
The CTTT found the vehicle was not of merchantable quality. An intermittent battery in a hybrid vehicle is more important to the performance of the hybrid than a standard 12-volt battery in a non-hybrid vehicle.
The CTTT awarded the owner $8,000, after taking into account that the owner had benefited from some driving and a recent accident had diminished the resale value.

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Ingleburn repairer fined

Campbelltown Local Court ordered an Ingleburn repairer to pay fines and cost of $11,500 for operating while unlicensed.
The Court convicted the repairer of two breaches of the Motor Vehicle Repairs Act 1980.
The repairer received a fine and warning to stop trading until obtaining the appropriate licence after an initial inspection of their premises in April 2009.
The repairer ignored the warning and continued to trade while unlicensed, which resulted in another fine three weeks later.
The repairer chose to dispute the fines in court, resulting in the conviction.
If you operate without a licence, you can face penalties up to $5,500.
Operating in an unfair or dishonest way can lead to your licence being terminated or suspended.

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Industry Code of Conduct

The Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct promotes strong relationships between repairers and insurers through open communication and mutual respect.
Repairers and insurers in NSW must comply with the Code. Failure to comply with the Code can result in compensation claims and other penalties. 
If you are unsure of your responsibility, refer to the Code of Conduct or contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

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Operation Winner

We reported on ‘Operation Winner’, focusing on unlicensed motor dealing, in the last edition of Auto torque.
To date, Operation Winner has resulted in:
  • 65 warning letters
  • 61 penalty notices
  • 24 matters considered for prosecution
  • 12 cases before the courts
  • one conviction.
Individuals face a maximum fine of $110,000 if caught dealing or repairing motor vehicles without a licence.

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NSW Fair Trading now responsible for auto gas installations

Fair Trading is now responsible for the regulation of auto gas installations in NSW from 1 July 2010, taking over from WorkCover.
The number of government departments involved in the regulation of auto gas will reduce to two, Fair Trading and the Roads and Traffic Authority.

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Invitation to comment - Motor Dealers Regulation 2010

The Motor Dealers Regulation 2004 is due for repeal on 1 September 2010. In order to ensure that the requirements of the Act can continue to apply it is proposed that the Regulation be remade with some minor amendments.

A draft Motor Dealers Regulation 2010 has been prepared and is now being released for public comment along with a Regulatory Impact Statement, which discusses the costs and benefits of the proposed Regulation.

For information on how to Have your say or request copies of the Regulatory Impact Statement and the proposed Regulation, visit the Comment on proposed legislation page on the Fair Trading website.

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Display of motor vehicles off-licensed premises

Fair Trading continues to discover motor dealers offering vehicles for sale outside their premises, including footpaths.
Last year, Fair Trading issued 26 penalty notices to licensed dealers for non-compliance.

Failing to comply can result in an on the spot fine of $550 for each vehicle detected.

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Fair Trading visits the Caravan, Camping, RV and Holiday Supershow

Fair Trading inspected exhibitors at the Caravan, Camping, RV and Holiday Supershow ensuring they are complying with the law.
Fair Trading ensured all products on display met safety standards and advertising did not mislead customers.
All exhibitors had a clear understanding of their obligations and were fully compliant.

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