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[QLD] Legal advice about rights after bike purchase

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by bkdu, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. Hi all

    Not sure if I have any legal grounds for a claim, but thought I'd ask.

    About 3 weeks ago I bought a second hand 2003 Yamaha Warrior from a local (Brisbane) bike dealer. Had to replace the brake pads immediately as the ones on there were old, brittle and useless ... fine with that ... just didn't find out until I rode the bike for a longer trip than a test ride would allow.

    However, while in the workshop of my normal dealer last Friday, the fuel pump broke.

    The full picture:
    The fuel pump in the Warrior sits separate to the tank, and is attached to a secondary tank via thread, ie screws into it. The entire fuel pump housing is a single unit plastic piece, where the top has nipples protruding which the various hoses connect to, including the high pressure fuel hose. Leaving out the fact that Yamaha would
    a) make the top as well as nipples out of plastic on a 24k bike (new), and also
    b) ensure that you have to buy a whole fuel pump rather than replace the obviously fragile top cover with its nipples
    ... my question is if I have any legal grounds to make a claim against the dealer who sold me the bike.

    What happened is that when the mechanic unplugged the high pressure hose, the nipple it attaches to sprung a leak as this plastic gets brittle over time. End result is that either a second hand fuel pump has to be found (so far all found have the same problem) or a new one purchased ($700 from the States and $1,400 from Australia).
    Considering that I can prove that I did not contribute to breaking the pump but rather it happened in a workshop, I thought that perhaps I can use some kind of legal and default warranty period to make a claim against the selling dealer.

    Here's hoping ... :)

    Cheers and thanks in advance for your advice
  2. Generally the law is that products sold have to be of merchantable quality. Some information about statutory warranties and the like is below.


    What the dealer offers is irrelevant but it is a bit of a grey area. Without giving legal advice, your best bet is to call the ACCC information line and ask them. I suspect you bought the bike assuming it was in reasonable working condition... In particular the "fit for purpose" http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/815360

    From speaking to a friend who works for ACCC, my understanding is that it is regardless of what the seller chooses to offer - there is a basic statutory warranty that exists. In fact, if you buy a TV and it breaks 2 days out of warranty (say 2 years), the same applies that you reasonably expect a TV to last more than 2 years so they might be entitled to repair it or refund it.
  3. I think the key question is whether or not the fuel pump is considered to be a maintenance item. on many newer bikes the fuel pump and fuel filter are one and the same and accordingly are a maintenance item in the same way sa brake pads/rotors - if so you would have no comeback under your statutory warranty.

    The good news though is that you can probably replace the fuel pump with a generic fuel pump from a car - interestingly enough, looking on the US Warrior site it looks like the fuel pump has metal spigots NOT plastic? :-s
  4. Not an expert opinion but Id be surprised if a warranty covered you for something that had worn out. Especially since they could argue it worked when sold and someone else broke it.

    I had a similar issue with Triumph years ago re plastic fuel fittings. Wouldnt like to go through that again....

    Even so best of luck. Sucks a bit when the new toy bites you straight away.
  5. If I'm reading this right, you want the shop you bought the bike from, to replace a part that another shop broke...?


    Try www.findapart.com.au for a good s/h one.
  6. adprom
    Thanks for the links and advice ... will look into it. Called ACCC and they suggested to first contact the dealer and if I can't get anywhere lodge a complaint through ACCC.

    Don't think it's a maintenance item. However, replacing it with an aftermarket one could be rather costly. The fuel pump is rather large, screws into the secondary tank, and the whole assembly fits snugly into the slot (under the seat) provided for it. An aftermarket pumps would most likely involve extensive modifications ... but will check it out via the rswarrior site.
    As for metal spigots ... wouldn't have this problem if they were. The workshop even chased up a couple of 2nd hand pumps ... all had the same problem, ie the plastic had become brittle and the spigots were breaking off. Also read about this on the rswarrior site ... the pump design (top section of it) seems to be someone's bad idea of saving money in production.

    I feel your pain ... :)

    The other shop didn't break it as such ... they had to take the high pressure fuel hose off the nipple which is when it broke ... simply because the whole think is a cheap and not well thought out design in my opinion. Would have "given" no matter who removed the clip that connects the hose to the nipple.

    Will call the shop and see if they're willing to come to the party.
  7. I'm of the opinion that if they had taken due care when removing it, it wouldn't have broken...

    But I haven't seen it, so I guess I can't really comment. (But I will anyway :))

    Good luck with it.
  8. Couldn't help myself and sent a quick email to Yamaha Australia:

    Hi there

    Well, I recently (about 3 weeks ago) fulfilled my dream and found & bought a 2003 Yamaha Warrior. However, my grin was rather short lived when - while having the PC3 remapped at my normal workshop - the nipple (spigot?) on top of the fuel pump (which is made out of plastic ... on a $24k bike) first sprung a leak and then broke off completely upon disconnecting the high pressure hose.
    I just wanted to express my displeasure about two things:
    1. Why is such a part with basically skinny connectors made out of plastic, when it is bound to go brittle and break over time ... on a bike that cost new A$24,000 in Australia?
    2. Why is - on top of item #1 above - the entire pump one unit so that one has to buy a complete (and very expensive) fuel pump just because one of the plastic nipples breaks? With the decision to make this out of plastic, I would at least expect the top part with the nipples to be a replaceable item, given that these plastic nipples are guaranteed to break at some point.
    3. Given that the fuel pump is located under the seat and the housing is made of plastic, I find the lack of interest in customer safety very disturbing, considering that it can be reasonably expected by any designer that the nipples connecting to the fuel lines will break at some point. Once a break occurs during a ride for example (nipple might already be weakened, hit a bump in the road, hose moves, nipple breaks), the rider is likely to find out about it once the spilled fuel hits the hot engine parts and ignites ... this might be considered cosy by some, but I belive normal people would prefer not to end up as a fireball.

    I am one such customer ... luckily the nipple connecting to the high pressure hose on my bike broke during maintenance in a workshop while disconnecting the high pressure hose.

    However, if this is how Yamaha design their bikes and further, if this is the value Yamaha place on their customers' well-being and safety, then I will most certainly never buy another Yamaha product again.

    Hopefully you have some logical and reasonable explanation for this particular design decision?!

    With kind regards
    Bodo Kehren
    a very disappointed customer

    We shall see if anything comes back ...
  9. I don't believe you have any recourse with the dealer you purchased it from as in QLD as fair as I am aware there is no statutory warranty on second hand motorcycles.

    I believe this is changing in 2011 though, sorry I think you'll find it very hard to get them to do anything about a part another workshop broke.
  10. I get what you're saying and basically agree in that I'm sh1t out of luck. However I do need to clarify that the other workshop didn't brake the part as such ... that nipple/spigot would have snapped for anyone who would have taken that hose off.
    The part that really annoys me is that the top of the fuel pump and nipples were made out of plastic in the first place ... it is both dangerous and greedy as it is only a matter of time before the plastic becomes brittle and something breaks ... and seeing it's part of the fuel system, under pressure and just below the seat ... and also considering that these bikes cost A$24k new, I believe Yamaha should have designed the fuel pump better by either having the top section as a replaceable item (which would have been quite substantially cheaper) or made of metal.

    Anyway, I'll get over it, get the Warrior fixed and sell it ... and probably never buy another Yamaha again. But that's just me ... I hold a grudge with things like this.

    Thanks to all of you for your feedback. If you know anyone who owns a Warrior, perhaps warn them about this ... I'm sure you don't want your mates to end up with their butts on fire while out on a ride. As far as I know all year models have the same design fuel pump.

  11. There is no required "voluntary warranty".

    There is a statutory warranty on everything as far as I know, but given it is 2nd hand it is safe to assume that there will be the odd issue. So it is a bit of a grey area.

    As long as the seller hasnt deceived the buyer, or tried to hide it there may be no recourse.

    In addition, going to yamaha about a 2nd hand bike is somewhat pointless as they aren't really responsible 7 years later.
  12. depends what you are referring to, under the trade practices act all brand new products must have a 12 month warranty as a minimum, after that there are inherent warranties regardless what a manufacturer puts on it.

    eg a new fridge that costs $2000 might only come with a 2 year warranty, and it might die after 2 and a half years. Under our consumer laws a consumer can reasonably expect that fridge to last a lot longer then 2 years and the manufacturer will be held to fix it by fair trading.

    But thats on new items only, a statutory warranty on used vehicles differs from state to state, some states apply one to motorcycles, in QLD however there is no such statutory warranty for motorcycles. Unless the shop is offering their own you may as well buy private as you've got a concrete warranty, ie once it's off their drive way it's your problem.

    see http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/statutory-warranty-used-vehicles.htm
  13. Regarding Yamaha that was not my point adprom. My point was that they have (presumably) qualified people designing their bikes. As such, it strikes me as odd to make the top of the pump out of plastic, when it can be expected to break within a reasonably short time and, furthermore, poses a very real risk of injury or death to the person operating the vehicle at the time.
    If it absolutely has to be made of plastic, then I as a consumer have an expectation that such obvious replacement items are made in a manner that enables economic replacement ... ie if you already know it's going to break due to the nature of the equipment, then in this case the top of the fuel pump should be a separate replacement item, rather than forcing the consumer to buy a whole new fuel pump.