Court finds Jayco misled a consumer but otherwise dismisses ACCC’s case

20 November 2020

The Federal Court has found that Jayco Corporation Pty Ltd (Jayco), Australia’s largest caravan and recreational vehicle manufacturer, breached the Australian Consumer Law in its dealings with one consumer who had purchased a Jayco caravan.

The Court found that Jayco made a false or misleading representation that the consumer was only entitled to a repair, when in fact a consumer’s rights under the ACL include a refund or replacement.

The ACCC had alleged that Jayco had acted unconscionably towards four consumers who purchased Jayco caravans, by denying them the right to refunds or replacements for their defective caravans.

The ACCC had also alleged that Jayco made false or misleading representations to the four consumers about their rights to obtain a refund or replacement for their defective caravans.

After finding that Jayco had made false or misleading representations to one consumer, the Court dismissed the remainder of the ACCC’s case, finding that Jayco did not make false or misleading representations to the three other consumers or act unconscionably towards the four consumers.

Despite finding that Jayco did not act unconscionably towards the four consumers, the Court found that the caravans purchased by the consumers were not of acceptable quality, and that defects in three of the caravans were major. In finding that there was a major failure, the Court had regard to the cumulative effect of the defects. Amongst other problems, the caravans experienced either water leaks when it rained or had multiple roof collapses.

“The ACCC took this action because we were concerned that these consumers were being denied remedies available under the Australian Consumer Law, for products that had clear defects,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“These consumers spent tens of thousands of dollars on new Jayco caravans that had defects which caused issues such as roofs collapsing, leaking or not shutting properly.”

“We will carefully consider the judgment,” Mr Sims said.

Background

The ACCC instituted proceedings against Jayco in November 2017.

Consumer Guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law provide remedies for consumers if their product is not of acceptable quality. Consumers can choose to have a product replaced, repaired or refunded if there is a major fault. A retailer can choose the remedy for minor faults.

Further information on consumer guarantees is available at Consumer guarantees.

The ACCC encourages people to use its complaint letter tool to email or write to a business in relation to their rights to a repair, replacement or refund.  

Release number: 
243/20
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