NC Motor Workshop Ltd v Brunner [2019] NZDC 5217

Published 11 July 2019

Appeal Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal — grounds of appeal — Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003, Schedule 1 cl 16 — Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 s 6 — Fair Trading Act 1986 — Disputes Tribunal Act 1988 s 50. The appellant sought an appeal of a Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal decision. The respondent had purchased a vehicle for $14,385 from the appellant which, after approximately three months, developed a fault with its clutch. When the respondent brought it back to the appellant for repair, the company declined to repair it as it fell outside the three month warranty in the sale and purchase agreement. The Tribunal held that the fault was of a serious nature and the vehicle failed to meet the definition of acceptable quality under s 6 the Consumer Guarantees Act. Further, the Tribunal awarded damages of $3000 against the appellant for breaching their obligation to inform the respondent that the vehicle had previously been damaged when expressly asked, per the Fair Trading Act. In considering the appeal, the Judge noted that the appellant did not raise any submissions to the Fair Trading Act breach and therefore that appeal must be dismissed. Further, the first schedule of the Motor Vehicle Sales Act provides that an appeal can only be made to the District Court where the claim exceeds $12,500 or the appellant can demonstrate the proceeding was unfair and had a prejudicial affect on the result. The Judge held the appeal must be dismissed as the claim was insufficient and there was no evidence of unfairness in the Tribunal proceedings. The Judge awarded $200 to the respondent as reimbursement for filing an enforcement order against the appellant. Judgment Date: 20 March 2019.