Family joins calls for lemon laws after ditching car
A NOOSA family knows too well why "lemon laws" are needed in Australia after a dodgy car experience left them feeling sour.
Trish Radge still feels guilty that, after hitting breaking point, she was forced her to abandon a new car and lose more than $10,000.
The devoted foster carer was looking forward to upgrading the family car when she invested $36,000 in a new Kia Carnival 12 years ago.
"As soon as we got it home, it wouldn't start at all. It stuffed up 11 times in eight months and had to go back to the dealer four times to get the starter motor replaced," she said.
"I had three small kids at the time so when you're out and about and find the car doesn't start and have to organise a tow truck, it's very stressful."
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Ms Radge was angry the laws to protect new car buyers hadn't changed much since her experience.
"The dealer just kept saying we 'must've gotten the bad one on the line'," she said.
"We asked them to swap it and they wouldn't.
"There was nothing we could do."
After moving interstate from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast, the family members decided they had had enough of the Kia.
"It was a really hot summer that year and I was in Caloundra with the kids in the car and found it wouldn't start again," Mrs Radge said.
"I was just beside myself in tears and said to my husband, 'I can't do this anymore'.
"He drove to Brisbane and traded it in for $22,000 - we lost a lot of money."
"I feel horrendous about it. I feel very guilty but I didn't know what to do at the time," she said. "For us, it was either take a huge loss or dump the car entirely and get none of our money back."
Fortunately, the next car the family bought was fine, but soon after wiping their hands of the Carnival, the family saw a report on A Current Affair with other people who had a similar problem.
While she said she'd never buy a newly released car again, Mrs Radge felt "lemon laws" needed to be introduced to protect new car buyers.
"The dealer has to take responsibility for the car they've sold. They get away with too much, " she said.
"You should be able to return a car like you would a faulty TV or washing machine."