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Ultimate Car Dealer Dirty Trick? | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia

Ultimate Car Dealer Dirty Trick? | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia

If this doesn’t convince you of our urgent
need for an independent car industry ombudsman – nothing will.
I’m John Cadogan from – the place where Aussie new-car buyers save
thousands off their next new cars. Hit me up on the website for that … but after watching
this I’d be quite surprised if you were to ask me about acquiring a new Ford. Really
surprised. Paul and Jo Dale, from Darwin in the Northern
Territory, Powershit Ford owners, they reached out to me on the 30th of August – jubilant
that they had won their case in the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal,
NCAT. Jo Dale was succinct. If you would like a good news story I took
my Ford dealership to court over my lemon powershit and won (yesterday). As in court
ordered refund. Feel free to get in touch. I want my story told with the f bombs it deserves.
The shining beacon of free speech that is the NT News, owned by founding Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtle Rupert Murdoch, corroborated Jo Dale’s story.
A COUPLE who bought a faulty car from a Territory dealership has had more than $25,000 returned
to them after winning a case in the Small Claims Tribunal.
The Dales were also awarded costs, which is uncommon – with a total settlement of $25,826
ordered by Sally Gearin who presided over the NCAT hearing. NCAT’s cases are capped
at a maximum of $25,000. Ms Gearin’s findings included a determination that the total damages
suffered by the Dales was $30,921.64 – not an inconsiderable sum, for average people.
Sally Gearin found: I am satisfied the Applicants have proved
their case. They should have been advised of the transmission problems experienced with
the TCM when they purchased the vehicle. After the concerns raised were not fixed, it was
unreasonable for the Respondents to expect the Applicants to drive a vehicle which was
clearly unreliable in its performance. To do so would be to expect the Applicants to
risk their lives or damage to themselves and or other road users with the vehicle’s erratic
and unpredictable performance. Ms Gearin also found that the (quote) “failure
to provide a vehicle that is consistently safe constitutes a major failure” (unquote)
under the Consumer Law. She awarded the maximum possible compensation.
The dealer – Red Earth Automotive, which apparently trades as Hidden Valley Ford in Darwin – was
thus compelled to pay the $25k (and change) – leaving Mr and Mrs Dale about $5000 out
of pocket, albeit burdened by one less shitbox Ford. This is after about 18 months of Powershit
ownership hell. Mr and Mrs Dale relied on testimony from an
expert: Glenn Allemand – who (in so far as I can see) basically corroborated the known
fact that the Powershit transmission more than lives up to its moniker, and cannot be
fixed. Ms Gearin, who ran the hearing, concluded
that Mr Allemand was a more reliable expert witness than the dealer’s witness, Chris
Hillyard. She found: “Mr Hillyard does not have the specific
transmission qualifications of Mr Allemand and his attempt to minimise the dangers inherent
in the problems experienced by the applicants was not helpful or believable.”
So, Mr & Mrs Dale’s expert was better qualified, more believable and independent of Ford. You’re
thinking this is a victory for the good guys, right? Keep watching.
Against the backdrop of this majestic Top End courtroom drama, is of course the ACCC’s
proposed Federal Court reaming-out of Ford Australia over its alleged unconscionable
conduct concerning the Powershit transmission generally.
That matter is before the court – but without speculating on the likely outcome you’d
have to presume the ACCC is proceeding with that action on the basis of the facts its
investigation has uncovered, and the balance of probability of achieving a successful prosecution
– otherwise it’s just a chronic waste of public funds.
Anyway, I’d been back and forth with Jo Dale by e-mail for several days. Frankly I
got a bit worried when she started discussing singing in the shower, and sending me the
song. Slightly too much information there. But, hey, Northern Territory. After four days
I attempted to temper Jo’s exuberance thus: “Let’s see what ultimately happens. I
hope the story doesn’t get better (for me). Perhaps they will appeal to a higher court,
just to be arseholes.” And I have to say that sometimes it’s not
fun to predict the future. It’s just not. On the 12th of September – less than two weeks
after being awarded the maximum settlement available to NCAT, Mr & Mrs Dale learned that
they were probably going back to court. Red Earth Automotive – a euphemism for Hidden
Valley Ford in Darwin – is taking them back to NCAT, and asking the tribunal to reverse
its decision. The Dales are now defendants – although NCAT calls them ‘respondents’.
The dealer is seeking the earlier NCAT ruling in favour of the Dales be stayed, for now,
and ultimately reversed, and it’s making an application that the Dales pay the dealer’s
$500 fee to file this application to appeal. None of this is of course giving me pause
to reconsider my view on the ethical landscape inhabited by car dealers, but because the
matter is before a court, I am very limited in what I can say. I make no comment on the
proper outcome here, which is for NCAT to determine.
The dealer alleges, in its application: There was certainly no major failure to comply
with any of the statutory guarantees so as to give rise to an entitlement to a refund
or replacement vehicle. The dealer also alleges (I’m paraphrasing)
that their expert was in fact better than the Dale’s expert. But it was this statement,
right at the end of the dealer’s application that I found most telling about a car dealer’s
ethical orientation. The dealer wants NCAT to press pause on paying
the $25 grand and change because, apparently: “…there is a real risk that if this application
succeeds the Applicant will have difficulty recovering the sum of $25,826 from the Respondents,
rendering this application futile.” Personal opinion: This action by the dealer
seems incredibly petty, and also counter-productive. If they were to pay the compensation as originally
determined, they get the car back, they tart it up, they sell it to some other poor, uninformed
bastard. They’re only out of pocket the difference between the $25k and what they
get for the shitheap when they sell it. If I were the dealer I would: a) kill myself,
and b) carefully consider the real cost of the reputational damage such apparently churlish,
vindictive action has on the enthusiasm of people in the market to engage with my dealership.
If you wanted to turn people away, right, putting a customer’s head in a vice, publicly,
is, I’d suggest, a very effective deterrent. If I were Ford, I would have a quiet word
with the dealer vis a vis reputational damage to the brand. And if I were you, I would carefully
consider this matter in the interests of managing risk effectively in respect of any future
car purchase in the Top End. I really would. This is, of course, why we need an independent
car industry ombudsman. This is not the first such ‘at all costs’ court appeal action
I have seen a car dealer take against a customer. Not by a long shot. It’s often ego out of
control in concert with the cunning arsehole plan to crush the desire to fight for a fair
go by waging a war of financial attrition. The fundamental asymmetry of you versus a
dealer, or you versus a carmaker, is as absurd as it is apparent. It makes Consumer Law a
joke – because you can only get the justice you can afford. It’s simply not a fair fight.
The Federal Government – and in particular Michael McCormack, the minister in charge
of consumer affairs – needs to stop playing pocket billiards and sucking up to the car
industry’s arsehole lobby group. It’s just not helping. Personal opinion.
Here’s a novel suggestion: How about, instead, Mr McCormack gets off his arse and levels
the damn playing field so that ordinary people – you know, the ones who elected him to represent
them – so that they actually get a fair go over the second most expensive purchase they
will ever make, and upon which their mobility depends.
Mr McCormack: Put an ombudsman in place – and preferably not the former chief counsel for
Fiat Chrysler, or somesuch. Someone actually independent. I’ll be waiting for hell to
freeze over on that. You can contact the minister via his website –
– let him know what you think. And of course, tell him I said ‘G’day.’
I’m John Cadogan. Thanks for watching.

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100 thoughts on “Ultimate Car Dealer Dirty Trick? | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia

  1. i cant remember all of the details but in america after a car has bin in for the same repair so many times or spent a set amount of time at the dealer a buy back is mandatory. the laws in Australia are in need of some fixing. keep up the good work man.

  2. There is a better way to handle all these stealerships. Each ons that cons us out of money gets his shop pounded with bricks. Because we as consumers cannot afford lawyers and bricks are available to everyone. Fair ground is it not. They will start thinking twice to bullshit us.

  3. Just another example of vested interest groups controlling an industry. Just plain bad news. Just look at Grenfell Tower – vested interest saftey certification 80 dead – who's going to jail..

  4. I have just sent a message to Minister McCormack's office – – I hope that many more people do the same.
    The car industry employ lobbyists to encourage the minister to do nothing.
    Our only chance to get a better deal is to use our weight of numbers to put pressure on the minister.

  5. The dealer will just change their name and never pay. They'll bankrupt the customers first. It's down to the court to show some balls and throw someone in prison.

  6. Hmm, I wonder if that closing statement by the dealer couldn't be made a case for defamation ? Would love to see them sued for 6 figures for it.

  7. Hidden Valley Ford, you say? Pretty much the only Ford dealership in Darwin. Fear not John, Darwin is a small city, HVF & their fuckmuppetry will be made common knowledge. Their act of treachery will be treated with the contempt it deserves. People will vote with their … er .. thongs.

  8. So, would be sooo funny if Sally Gearin, NCAT found for the respondents ( Jo Dale et al) by re-confirming the outcome of the first court case ($25,000 + court costs), then in this SECOND case, awarding the respondents (Jo Dale et al) a further amount of $25,000 !!

  9. I was in Australia last year & had the non pleasure of renting a Ford Focus for 3 weeks. The gearbox shuddered immensely shaking the entire car when pulling off from a standstill. It would rate as the worst car I have ever driven & reinforced my belief that Toyota is the number one brand. My condolences to all that have purchase one

  10. Dealers are much dirtier than manufactures. I had s car with a sticking throttle cable in 2002 on my 1993 Ford Crown Victoria I brought it to the dealer Healy Ford and told them to lubricate the throttle cable. No effect. So I brought it back and had them do it again. I had to pay twice to get it done. (Money well spent) 2 Weeks later they were closed. This dealer also in "needed" a scan tool to diagnose the windshield wipers. They said it needed new transmission. They did wipe but the drivers wiper hit the doorframe and would tear the blades. Then it couldn't park so the motor wouldn't shut off. So I scowled at the mechanic and told him to take it off. Then I turned the wipers on and off and put it back on right – I was lucky

  11. Only stupids drive FORD in particular in Australia. Why Ford if you have the choice of Toyotas, Nissans, Isuzus, KIAs, Landrovers etc.

  12. In South Africa there have been a glut of different ford models that spontaneously burst into flame, there's even a facebook page detailing the destruction.

  13. Once again John you completely nailed it. Ever considered politics? We desperately need people like you in Canberra to drain the 'arseholes' from the Burley Griffin swamp.

  14. This cements my view that I will not do business with Ford, GM, FCA, VAG, Mercedes and any of the rest of the low volume Europeans.  I'll go further and avoid BMW as well on the back of patchy reliability, high running costs and their bad behaviour over the M47 timing chain failures.  This leaves me with Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Kia, Hyundai as more reasonable choices.

  15. Awesome videos! Please make a video summarising over engineered gimmicks like pop up screens, pop up tweaters, pop up air vents, electronic handbrake and other things that simply add to the unreliability of the vehicle. They amount to just more possibilities of failure.

  16. True, the manufacturer and the dealer can "out finance" Ms. Dale and draw this out, but the message is clear – the Territory in my garage is the last Ford I will ever own.

  17. Politicians are always going to work on behalf of those who hand them money, that would be industry and other special interests with deep pockets, not the voter.

  18. If Ford can keep the case tied up in the court system long enough, the Dale's will just run out of money trying to fight it. Sadly, that's how our court system works (at least in Canada). Richest person (or company) wins.

  19. i don't know how the law works in Australia, but I suspect it's much the same as here in the UK. What happens is the buyer successfully sues the dealer for selling them a faulty car, the buyer wins and the dealer, rather than pay up, goes into liquidation before opening with a slightly different name. The car buyer gets nothing because the entity that sold them the faulty vehicle no longer exists. Our consumer programs are full of these stories as people send bailiffs or High Court Sheriffs to retrieve their money only to find the dealer grinning under his or her new sign denying any connection with the rogue dealership. How the law allows this to happen with outstanding court orders against them is beyond me, but I suspect the people in Parliament or the House of Lords have a vested interest in companies that pull off these stunts and are, therefore, not about to change the law to prevent the practice continuing.

  20. Australia should make their own fucking cars. We know ford is cheap and shit basically. But you guys could really get some wheels going. U have enough tech and money. Specialized ppl

  21. I hope the couple win a second 25,000 judgment against the dealership. collecting over 50,000 would teach a lesson and the negative publicity might encourage Ford to fix things.

  22. Well done JC, so glad to hear that the scum sucking puss rats have "chosen" to stump up the money for the Dale's; judging by the number of dislikes this video has received it's a better than fair bet that the stealership has ten shareholders. Keep up the great work, love your videos and really appreciate the time and effort you put into each of them.

  23. Hey John, was there actually an order given that the car had to be handed back to ford? Sometimes, that particular order is "overlooked" and the consumer keeps the car and gets the money.

    "Refund" does not nescessarily mean they have to give the product back, but they do get the compensation…..

  24. Thanks John for another informative video. Just a quick note, the vehicle in question mentioned here was a Ford Territory. From my understanding, the Territory has a ZF transmission not the powershift transmission that you have referred to. Is this correct?

  25. You don't have to sell drugs to be considered a cartel? Nearly all consumer goods in Australia have cartel characteristics about them, that's why they are all shit scared of eBay and Amazon, the big boys that aren't part of the great Aussie cartels. Love your work John.

  26. Come on john is there any hope we can get an Ombudsman that won’t bend over and take it up the arse from the low life scam bags dealers, how many of us have been shit on by dealers and they just don’t care.

  27. 25k views…bet its costing them way more now. Their warranty handling here in America is no better, reason I won't deal with them again. Stand behind your product and you'll have real customer loyalty, not a bunch of forum fanboys in their moms basement raving about how reliable the Vulcan v6 is in her Happy meal stained Ford Taurus

  28. John i must say your an idiot. If people are stupid and want to buy fucked up Ford's then let them buy and suffer. They are not wise enough to do little bit of research then be it.

  29. John, I have a question: If the dealership appeals the decision of the small claims court to a higher court, is the $25,000 restriction now removed from litigation? In other words, can the Dales counter-sue in the higher court and if they win a second time at the appeal, could they ask for (and potentially get) $30,000 plus costs? I hope that's possible [as a Canuck, I don't know how your court system works]. P.S. Love your videos.

  30. The Dealer should have involved manufacturer in the first instance, and sort to resolve the issue well before this? The reputation of the dealer is now under question, and what happens, of you the media get onto it and make it public. Consumer Law in my view, probably would have found the vehicle not fit for the purpose, but the long road you have to drive down to get to this is exhausting. Happened to me on several occasions, but I managed to "do a deal" and make it all go away quickly! What's your name worth?

  31. Wow, this takes being an arsehole to a new level! Crap product & they blame the buyer for its crappiness is the basic tenet here. Trying to save themselves a few $, but with John's expose, Ford will lose even more $ plus market share.

  32. Again, Mr Cadogan good job.
    Clearly Ford will not be missed after it’s gone not to heaven but to hell.
    You have my unadulterated support Sir , Ford Australia is a scammer.
    No one should reward Ford Australia by purchasing any Ford product.

  33. even Lexus i bought a car 30k !!! found all transmission oil leak and engine oil leak. the wheel is stuffed because of hot oil. and many problems. yet the can make a refund and they claimed it has 100 mechanical points. the car didn't even drive more than 1,500 kilometers -.-!

  34. This appeals process is designed to deter further litigants. Why is it the dealer and not Ford that is in the dock? It's their fucking piece of shit, they "built" it.

    Considering Australia no longer has a local car manufacturing industry to worry about, It's about time we got some decent laws enacted. Try with some "Lemon Laws" to start with and go from there. You can answer this yourself however, our Federal Government is beholden to global corporations and therefore doesn't want to upset anyone.

  35. Even though i'm in America, this doesn't help Ford's reputation ANYwhere in the world. Ford is thumbing itself in the eye while it has it's foot in said mouth. If Ford allows this kind of BS in Australia, then I have NO doubt that it happens here too and just hasn't been uncovered sufficiently yet.

  36. And this is why I like Holden… specifically… the Colorado

    It works. It's reliable….

    And the dealer didn't rip me off (too greatly)

  37. I would have been surprised if the Ford dealer HADN'T launched an appeal. Car dealers are like the catholic church. They take money but don't like giving it.
    Ford are arseholes but then again all car dealers and manufacturers are arseholes. There's not a pussy among them and Australia with it's near to unregulated new car market is heaven for them..

  38. "I'll be waiting for Hell to Freeze on that." I thought John never believed in such a place. Hell is most frequently referred to in the most popular sold book in the world, the Bible, which according to John in previous videos, he is adamant is not real. If Hell isn't real, then you can't freeze it. It's like saying, I'll wait for global warming to get fixed when the excessive use of nuclear weapons will cause the earth's temperature to drop due to excessive cloud cover.

  39. When I saw the title to this video I thought "I wonder if this is about a Ford". LOL
    My friends think I have a prejudice against Fords but I don't think so. What I have is a justified conclusion after decades of observation of Fords letting people down.

  40. I recently had an issue with MAZDA local dealership when quoted $1800.00 to repair and replace gear selector and cable with a 3 week delay to carry out repairs. went to a mechanic I have used previously and had the clip replaced on the cable the next day. cost $230.00. the rest of the gear was fine and did not need replacing. my car was a 2006 tribute. never going MAZDA again.

  41. I won’t buy another Ford. Ever.
    Video shared and this will be my BBQ story for many coming weekends.
    Love the “Pocket Billiards” reference because it’s the best description used to describe the entire system.

  42. I know alll too well what Ford warranty and dealers are like to deal with. It took me 2 years and countless headaches before i got my faulty territory gearbox replaced! 😐😡

  43. Hi John, Should someone start a go fund me page to help Paul and Jo's case I would be happy to donate as this may change these arseholes' attitude towards us consumers as a whole.

  44. I’m automatically part of a class action lawsuit over the Ford Powershift transmissions here in the US. I’ll probably win a coupon for half an oil change.

  45. I see that Ford has a settlement for this transmission and I hope that causes Red Earth to have to drop their appeal. It goes to show that you need to research every purchase as almost all cars have some type of trouble.

  46. It really doesn't matter whether it's cars or the Government, Rule of thumb money talks and bull shit walks.
    Power Shit makes me laugh but Good job.

  47. There's Ford gone with a load of others off my list. Darn, at this rate I'll be buying a pushbike next time! We certainly do need lemon laws and an independent ombudsman in this country. Emailing McCormack now, but with the knowledge that I'm likely to turn blue before owt happens. Cheers John.

  48. Well said!  If the Ford Motor Company (not just the low-life dealer) had any ethical standards (along with, perhaps, a capacity for shame) they would be bending over backwards to satisfy these customers.  Failing that, the rest of us "ordinary people" need to make our voices heard by NEVER BUYING ANY FORD PRODUCTS.

  49. hey john do you want the job of the being the ombudsman? would you be biased in favour of the little guy or impartial?

  50. What needs to happen, and I don't expect will, is that ford and the other car sellers realize that since they don't make any cars here anymore, that brand loyalty to 'Australian cars' has gone out the window. If they want to gain customers and keep them coming back they have to stop trying to roger them and instead start taking some responsibility for their products. It's a novel idea and might stretch their brains beyond breaking point, but it just might stop them from sinking into the swamp of failed car importers in Australia.

  51. Interesting. Was pretty keen on a new Ford Ranger, don’t think I’ll bother with any Ford if the parent company is happy to put up with these sorts of actions from their dealers.

    Along with VW, I’m officially done with Ford as a brand.

  52. Funny, this U.S. buyer was looking at Fiesta on a lot-car discount. Then I looked it up online at home, discovering "automatic" I didn't even want is the troubled dual-clutch. Good features at $14,000, yet I would have paid the savings over and over again in trips to the dealership and loss-of-use. Thanks to John and others for publicizing this mess.

  53. Check it:

  54. we need a website that lists outcomes of these types of consumer product cases, to inform the public of the true nature and reputation of dealerships etc

  55. Is there an update to this case and did the Dales ever receive any kind of 'satisfaction'? We searched all over but can't anything. Thanks.

  56. How do you call yourself an expert when you are bought off by certain auto makers? You have gotten rich by being a negative douche bag. The fact that you are successful is just proof of how negative and dark society has become to watch crap like this and actually like it.

  57. If I were a dealer I would be looking to fund a kit to change the transmission entirely. I'd probably fund an aftermarket replacement to the PowerShit transmission (probably a CVT) from where Toyota gets their parts. Sure, it may be expensive, but at least it would last more than a few thousand miles. Toyota transmissions last for hundreds of thousands of miles.

  58. Australia is a mine with some inconvenient people in the way.
    The government is there purely to keep these people under control and out of the way.

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