CCMSM Manufacturing Pty Ltd, trading as Crusader Caravans, has paid $33,000 in penalties after the ACCC issued it with two infringement notices for allegedly making false or misleading representations about waterproofing tests conducted on caravans it manufactured.
Crusader Caravans published a checklist in its 2023 Buyers Guide that indicated to consumers they carried out tests on caravans to check for ‘waterproofing in storm-like conditions’. In fact, the tests were not designed to check for waterproofing, but rather were designed to check for the lower standard of water resistance.
The 2023 Buyer’s Guide was available to consumers between December 2022 and April 2023. The checklist was also extracted in an email sent to nearly 40,000 consumers on 22 January 2023. The statement has since been removed from the Buyer’s Guide.
“Caravans are a significant investment for consumers and it’s critical they have an accurate understanding of the testing of the product they are considering purchasing,” ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said.
“Manufacturers and traders must always accurately represent the testing standards for their products.”
“We have previously received numerous consumer complaints about water leaks and damage to caravans. We are continuing to investigate the industry and will not hesitate to take appropriate action against caravan manufacturers and retailers who are not meeting their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law,” Ms Carver said.
The ACCC has published guidance for buying a new caravan to help consumers and businesses understand their rights and obligations when buying and selling caravans.
Crusader Caravans is a caravan manufacturer based in Epping, Victoria. It sells its caravans via 13 dealerships across Australia.
The ACCC is actively monitoring and engaging with the caravan industry to improve compliance with the Australian Consumer Law.
In October 2023, the ACCC published a warning to the caravan industry against making misleading price and caravan weight claims in contravention of the ACL, which may result in strong action being taken by the ACCC against retailers.
In July 2022, the ACCC released its new caravan retailing report that highlights key issues of concern in the market for new caravans and provides guidance to businesses about their obligations to comply with the Australian Consumer Law.
Note to editors
The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.
The ACCC can issue an infringement notice when it has reasonable grounds to believe a person or business has contravened certain consumer protection provisions in the Australian Consumer Law.
New caravan buyer’s checklist included in the 2023 Buyer’s Guide published by Crusader Caravans and emailed to consumers on 22 January 2023 (see point 9):