Consumer rights may have been infringed upon.
Mazda, like every other major manufacturer, is always looking to improve. It has come up with life-saving technologies, and vehicles like the CX-30 offer a premium experience at a price within reach of many buyers. Newer models like the Mazda CX-50 are sure to lure in more customers with their dashing design, impressive innovations, and remarkable reliability. But in Australia, the Japanese auto giant may soon be losing some customers. According to a ruling by the Federal Court in the Australasian country, Mazda misled consumers about their rights to a refund or a replacement vehicle. According to News.com.au, nine customers were mistreated after discovering issues with their cars within the first couple of years of ownership.
Reportedly, these customers had made Mazda aware of the issues they were facing with the hope that they would get fair treatment, but this was not the case. These customers asked for either refunds or replacement vehicles as was their right, but Mazda chose to either ignore or reject these requests, informing owners that their only recourse was to accept further repairs, despite these vehicles having returned for such maintenance on numerous occasions in the past. One customer reports that his or her vehicle had its engine replaced three times and was still not right. Essentially, Mazda accepted some responsibility by offering repairs, but not enough to placate the understandably angry customers.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) chairman, Rod Simms, says that these customers were basically lied to. "Mazda's conduct towards these consumers was not just appalling customer service as noted by the judge, it was a serious breach of the law," states Mr. Simms. "The message to the new car industry is clear, consumer rights are not negotiable and must not be misrepresented to consumers. If a vehicle cannot be repaired within a reasonable time, or at all, consumers have a right under the Australian Consumer Law to a refund or replacement."
In some cases and only after numerous attempts at repairs, Mazda had offered only a part refund or would provide a replacement vehicle if the customer made a significant payment. Nevertheless, Mazda Australia is being brought to book, with the court due to announce penalties soon. Mazda says it is taking the judgment "into careful consideration," which is PR-speak for, "We'd like to see if we can get out of this, but if we can't, we'll finally do what's required of us." Bad form, Mazda.