17 Aug 2015

Car dealer fined for false advertising

7:48 pm on 17 August 2015

A Whanganui car dealer has been ordered to pay $6,000 to a man for falsely advertising a car's fuel economy.

Bruce Campbell went to the Disputes Tribunal after he bought a Ford Kuga Titanium from Whanganui Motors last year, having been told it would use 7.7 litres of fuel per 100km.

He tested it himself and found it only achieved a maximum fuel efficiency of 9.4 litres, but was told that would improve over time.

Mr Cambell said even if the dealer was given the wrong facts about the car by Ford, it was still responsible.

The Disputes Tribunal ordered Whanganui Motors to pay compensation for the difference in fuel costs over 8000km.

Ford New Zealand communications manager Tom Clancy said the fuel-use figures it advertised for its cars should not be taken as real world examples, because they were done in a laboratory.

However, the company was legally obliged to advertise the figures.

"Those figures are derived from a standard test. Is it a real world test? No it's not. It's done in a lab in a very controlled environment so that a consumer can see how every manufacturer does against that test but your real world driving will influence those figures," he said.

Mr Clancy said there sas a part to play for the manufacturer to ensure the customer knew that difference.

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