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elite service centre


Log Book Servicing

Elite Service Centre is your alternative to dealership servicing. We are qualified to maintain your new car. The following is information from the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission).

Does your car need a service?

It's time to service your car. Where do you turn? Someone has told you that if you don't return to either the business where you bought the car or an authorised agent of that business, your warranty will be void.

Is that true? Can you get your car serviced by someone other than the business or an authorised agent of the business that sold the car without voiding the warranty? The short answer is 'yes'. Though there are some conditions:

New vehicle warranty

Where a problem arises with the vehicle that is covered under the warranty, the vehicle should be taken to the dealer for repair. These repairs should be done free of charge under the warranty.

New and used vehicle servicing

In relation to general servicing, motor vehicle dealers are entitled to insist that any servicing performed on cars they sell is carried out by qualified staff, according to the manufacturer's specifications, and using genuine or appropriate quality parts where required. Provided these conditions are met, regardless of where you choose to get your car serviced, your warranty will remain intact. So shop smart and shop around.

Qualified staff

Qualified staff is a party or parties, other than an 'authorised dealer', who is capable of performing car servicing. Some servicing venues display qualification certificates, but if you're not sure the staff are qualified, just ask.

Manufacturer's specifications

If an independent agent implies that it can perform general car servicing to manufacturers' specifications and does not perform that function satisfactorily, then you have rights and remedies against the agent regardless of whether the agent has factory qualifications or not.

Genuine or appropriate quality parts

The issue here is not who manufactured the part/s, it is whether the part/s are fit or appropriate for the purpose intended. If a part is non-genuine, but is interchangeable with the genuine part, it could be seen as being fit or appropriate for the purpose and would therefore not void the manufacturer's warranty. However, it must also be noted that should the part/s installed fail or not perform satisfactorily, the consumer then has rights against the fitter and/or manufacturer of those replacement parts. If the non- genuine part fails, and causes some other damage to the vehicle, the dealer and vehicle manufacturer will not be liable for damage caused by the failure of that part. Thus, provided consumers do research and ensure that wherever they take a vehicle for servicing, the staff are qualified and all other provisions above are met, the warranty will be safely intact for the warranty period.

I negotiated an express warranty when I got my new car. Does this cover me further?

Express warranties are usually specified under the agreement with the dealer; it might state a specific time period, maximum liability and limitations. Express warranties operate in addition to statutory warranties, and cannot restrict the provisions of the statutory warranty which is implied in every single consumer sale.

Under a statutory warranty, goods must meet a basic level of quality and do their job properly, bearing in mind their price and the way they are described. Goods, and services performed, must last for a reasonable time regardless of any extended warranty period, remembering that what is reasonable depends on the price paid and the type of product.

You should expect your new car to run smoothly for some time without requiring any repairs. If, however, your new car has a manufacturing fault, then under your statutory warranty, you should expect the problem to be fixed by the supplier or manufacturer free of charge regardless of any express warranty. Statutory rights apply whether the goods are new, 'seconds' or second-hand.

For example, the dealer may provide an express warranty for one year or 20,000 kilometres, which includes free scheduled servicing and parts. The free servicing and parts is an added extra and it is up to you to decide if it is worth paying extra for.

Generally dealers will be able to place certain conditions on the express warranty given to buyers. A consumer may void their expressed warranty if, for example, the car is fitted with non-genuine parts. However, the statutory warranties will continue to apply unless the service of the independent mechanic or the fitting of the non-authorised part caused the fault.

Dealers are not permitted to limit their obligations under the warranty and refund provisions of the TPA or fair trading legislation, or make any representations to this effect, e.g. that the warranty is void if the vehicle is not serviced by the dealer or its agent. You are effectively covered by both warranties. The express warranty may offer you some further cover above and beyond the cover you have under the statutory warranty.

Make sure you do your research and ask exactly what the express warranty will cover. If it doesn't cover anything that isn't already covered in your statutory warranty, there is no point handing over the extra cash.

(excerpt from ACCC Newsletter ISSN 1445-9671 April 2005)


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