It’s a common experience for the public to buy vehicles from dealers, only to discover issues later. Purchasing a used vehicle can either be a cost-saving venture or turn into an expensive nightmare. Consumer rights and remedies against deceptive dealers selling defective vehicles are outlined in the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA).

Consumer Protection Act:

Section 55(2) of the CPA ensures consumers receive goods that are suitable, of good quality, and free from defects. Section 56 allows consumers to return goods within six months if they fail to meet standards, and the supplier must repair, replace, or refund the purchase price. Discrimination or retaliation against consumers exercising their rights is prohibited.

Motor Vehicle Industry Ombudsman:

If a supplier refuses to address defects, consumers can turn to the Motor Vehicle Industry Ombudsman for dispute resolution. If resolution seems unlikely, the matter can be escalated to the National Consumer Commission (NCC).

National Consumer Commission (NCC):

The NCC may issue a notice of non-referral for frivolous complaints. The complaint may be referred to an alternative dispute resolution agent, a consumer court, or another regulatory authority. After investigation, the NCC may issue a notice of non-referral or refer the matter to the National Prosecuting Authority for alleged offenses.

National Consumer Tribunal and Consumer Court:

If the NCC refers a matter to a consumer court, parties can apply to the National Consumer Tribunal for referral. A consumer court hearing follows Tribunal procedures, and its orders have the same effect. If the NCC issues a notice of non-referral, the complainant can directly refer the matter to the Consumer Court or the National Consumer Tribunal with Tribunal permission.


Consumers, especially when buying pre-owned vehicles, have specific rights under the CPA. These rights encompass receiving a vehicle of good quality, in working order, and being informed if the vehicle has undergone any reconstruction or reconditioning. For further guidance, individuals can contact SchoemanLaw Inc.