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Nissan Australia Infringement – a timely reminder to the automotive industry

Automotive Industry Law
Promotional material (whether print, television, radio or online) that does not feature the full price of advertised vehicles may risk being in breach of the component pricing provisions of the Australian Consumer Law.
Recently Nissan Motor Co (Australia) Pty Ltd admitted such a breach, and paid three infringement notices totaling $19,800. This followed an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) of Nissan’s ‘Paintball’  television advertisement (it showed vehicles dodging balls of bright coloured paint)
The Paintball advertisement depicted a red ST model vehicle and a silver Ti model vehicle, with a “drive-away” price.  The silver Ti model had optional extras being metallic paint, leather seats and trim, and a panoramic sunroof. The silver Ti model shown in the advertisement was more expensive once the cost of the optional extras is taken into account.
Since the advertised price only applied to the red model featured in the advertisement, the company acknowledged that the advertisement was likely to mislead consumers. Nissan has also provided ACCC with a court-enforceable undertaking to publish a corrective notice, and review its Australian Consumer Law compliance program.
This is an important reminder to your automotive business that in advertisements of specific vehicles, if the stated price does not correspond to the advertised vehicles, the advertisement runs the risk of being misleading.
The ACCC has stated that it continues to monitor the motor vehicle industry in respect of compliance with the Australian Consumer Law, and may issue infringement notices where it has reasonable grounds to believe that a person or organisation has contravened that Law.
Contact one of our Automotive Law team members if you have any queries in relation to this article, or if you require any assistance in respect of your promotional material.

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