NSW consumers will have the best motor vehicle safety standards and protection in the country, following the introduction of new laws for the industry, 1 December 2014, NSW Fair Trading Minister, Matthew Mason- Cox said.
“NSW consumers will be able to make more informed decisions about who to do business with through a “name and shame” register, which will be operational from 1 December 2014,” Mr Mason-Cox said.
“This comprehensive register will allow consumers to check if a dealer or repairer has a current license, as well as whether they have been issued with any penalty notices, including a brief description of the offence and penalty imposed.
“The register will record if any disciplinary action has been noted against the license holder or been prosecuted for an offence under the Act. “This will include the date of the prosecution and a description to identify the details of the type of offence.
“Under the new reforms, motor dealers will be required to disclose information about a vehicle being offered for sale, including details about whether the car has suffered hail or flood damage or odometer interference.
“Significantly, NSW Fair Trading officers will have new powers to issue orders to licensed dealers and repairers to fix faults without a consumer having to take legal action. “This will give consumers greater protection and enhance vehicle safety in this state.’’
Mr Mason-Cox said it was a very exciting time for the industry and the benefits for a more efficient and responsive marketplace will be experienced by consumers and the industry alike.
“We are also introducing tougher penalties for odometer tampering, which will be doubled to a maximum penalty to $22,000 for any dealer or repairer who alters the odometer reading on a car.’’
Mr Mason-Cox said these reforms marked the biggest change to the state’s motor vehicle industry in many years and importantly delivered the best outcome for consumers and the industry.
“We are working closely with the industry to support a smooth transition and ensure that they are operating within the requirements of the law,” Mr Mason-Cox said.
While legislative reform was a key focus for the NSW Government this year, NSW Fair Trading has been very active across all aspects of the motor vehicle marketplace.
Mr Mason-Cox said NSW Fair Trading officers had conducted more than 1300 trader visits since January 2014 and continued to pursue rogue operators.
“The trader visits resulted in more than 318 penalty infringement notices being issued valued at $242,880,’’ Mr Mason-Cox said. “That compares to 183 penalty infringement notices issued over the same period last year, totalling $122,100.
“Ensuring the industry complied with the law and acted fairly in the marketplace was an important aspect of Fair Trading’s work, including engaging with traders directly so that they were aware of their obligations, Mr Mason-Cox said.
“The NSW Government is committed to building a more transparent and fairer marketplace for consumers and the motor vehicle industry alike,” Mr Mason- Cox said.
“We will shortly be providing our carefully considered response to the Select Committee’s recommendations for the motor vehicle repairs