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Darra motor dealer ditches warranty obligations

11 February 2020

A Darra motor dealer and his company have been ordered to pay $47,192 in the Richlands Magistrates Court today (11 February 2020) after charges were brought by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for making false claims and failing to honour warranty obligations.

Mr Hooman Fartash, principal licensee and sole director of Aria Motors Pty Ltd, was fined $8,000 and ordered to pay court costs of $99. The business was fined $25,000, ordered to pay a further $13,993 as compensation to affected consumers, as well as court costs of $99.

Mr Fartash was charged conjointly with his company and pleaded guilty to breaching the Australian Consumer Law and the Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Act 2014.

A conviction was not recorded.

The court heard three consumers purchased luxury vehicles from Mr Fartash between April and June 2018, however the buyers soon became aware of various defects with their respective vehicles.

When the consumers contacted Mr Fartash to have repairs completed under Queensland’s statutory warranty provisions, Mr Fartash falsely claimed their vehicles were excluded from the warranty.

In sentencing, Magistrate Stuart Shearer said Mr Fartash’s conduct gave used car dealers a bad name and that consumer protection laws existed to protect consumers from improper conduct. He added that it should not take a court, or other legal body, to resolve these matters.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said motor dealers who misled consumers about, and failed to honour, statutory warranty rights would be targeted by the OFT.

“This decision should serve as a reminder to all motor dealers of their obligations to abide by the law, and their duty to act honestly with consumers,” he said.

“Consumers who buy used cars from licensed motor dealers should have the confidence that their statutory warranties will be protected, and motor dealers who fail to follow legislation and trade responsibly will be held accountable.”

If consumers believe they have been misled by a motor dealer, they are encouraged to lodge a complaint with the OFT online at http://www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Further information about consumer guarantee rights and statutory warranties, which apply to both new and used vehicles, is also available on the OFT’s website.