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Commerce Commission uses its new powers

Three car dealers have been fined by the Commerce Commission after tip-offs from the public.

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The commission used the new powers granted to it as part of last year’s Consumer Law Reform to issue 8 fines of $1000 to 3 dealers based in Auckland and Christchurch.

One company got a fine for not displaying a Consumer Information Notice (CIN), another company received 3 fines for not displaying CINs, and the third company received 2 fines for CIN offences and 2 for not disclosing they were a trader online.

The trader that received 3 fines for not displaying CINs was discovered as a result of a visit by an Auckland investigator to the caryard. The other two traders had vehicles listed on Trade Me.

A CIN carries information about a used car, including its year, make and model, price, odometer reading and if the car was imported to New Zealand as damaged.

The commission’s chairman Mark Berry said CINs helped consumers make informed choices about purchasing a car.

“If consumers buy a car from a trader they have legal protections for a reasonable time if there are faults with the vehicle,” Dr Berry said.

Dr Berry said being able to issue fines was an effective way of getting businesses to immediately change their behaviour.

“They are an important part of our enforcement toolkit and we expect to be using them more in the future,” he said.

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