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Hon Judith Tizard Minister of Consumer Affairs

Hon Judith Tizard
Minister of Consumer Affairs

31 October 2006

Motor vehicle law working for consumers

Almost half of the disputes dealt with by the Wellington Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal in the last year have found in favour of consumers according to a Tribunal report released today by Consumer Affairs Minister Judith Tizard. In his annual report to the Minister the Adjudicator notes that changes to the motor vehicle sales legislation have enabled consumers to take their complaints directly to the Ministry of Justice Tribunals Unit, rather than through the Motor Vehicle Dealers Institute.

The report also notes that empowering the Tribunal to resolve claims under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 and the Fair Trading Act 1986 has allowed for most disputes about car sales to be heard in a 'one-stop' low cost adjudication procedure. Providing consumers with information on their rights on the back of the Supplier Information Notice (SIN) was seen as being successful and a positive change.

"I am pleased that consumers are using the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal to take claims against motor vehicle traders and are getting results," says Judith Tizard. The Minister also welcomed other recommendations and issues raised in the report which will be considered as part of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs' current review of the Motor Vehicle Sales legislation.

"Reports such as this provide firm evidence that the 2003 reforms to the motor vehicle sales industry are having positive results for consumers. Some tweaks are needed to fine-tune the legislation and the Ministry is currently reviewing what needs to be done."


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