We took the time to call a number of new car dealers and used the same example. The example we used was even an extreme event that would (one would think) never happen.
Each car dealer we called faced the same question.
“If I purchased a new car from you today, drove it to the end of your street and the engine started to smoke and make noises and the dashboard fell off, would you replace it with a new one or give me a refund?”.
The answer we received consistently was No! Even though in this scenario the consumer has only had the vehicle for less than a minute, the dealers all replied strongly with a no. All dealers we spoke to said it would be up to the manufacture to decide if they would attempt to repair, replace or offer a refund. This is in direct conflict of the consumer laws.
One dealer became very upset when I asked the question. Stating “If you buy a toaster and it doesn’t work when you get home, the retailers will not replace or offer a refund”. When I advised him retailers would offer a refund or replace even if it was a day old, and in most cases the retailer would apologies. And explained the consumer law to him, he still refused to accept any retailer would do this.
I would have thought, considering I gave such a extreme example. That the dealers would say yes to an immediate refund or replacement, being that the car was only driven a couple of meters and the consumer only had the car for less than a minute. However all dealers stood strong in their answer, No!.
One Sales rep did state that they believed the manufacture would allow a replacement or repair in this case however they would have to investigate the issue first.
This should serve as a warning to anyone looking to buy a new vehicle. The second you drive the car off the lot, the dealers will not help you. They appear to be pushing all the responsibility back to the manufactures. If you are buying a new car, test drive the car prior to accepting delivery. Don’t just test drive “A” car. Test drive “The” car you are about to buy. If the dealer doesn’t allow you to test drive the actual car you are about to buy, walk away.