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22 July 2022

Your wins: Replacement after electric lawnmower stops working

If you're a member with a consumer issue, our expert advisers are here to help.

Our Consumer advisers heard from a Christchurch man whose Stihl electric lawnmower suddenly stopped working. It was four and a half years old.  

Aarnoud had bought the Stihl RMA4100 cordless mower for $820 – including a battery and battery charger. He used it to mow his small front and back lawns, which he said are flat and smooth with no tree roots or other obstacles.

“The grass I was mowing was not particularly long,” he said. “I am the only person who has used my mower and I take pride in looking after all my equipment.”

He took the mower to the Stihl shop in Christchurch. It found that a part had dropped out of the motor and a new motor would be required, at a cost of $471.  Alternatively, the company said, he could purchase a lawnmower for $657. As his mower was out of its guarantee period, he was told these were his only options. 

The Christchurch branch admitted that having something fall out of the motor was unusual, so it checked with the Stihl head office in Auckland. It came back with the same advice: that Aarnoud would need to buy a new motor or an entirely new mower.

So Aarnoud contacted Consumer NZ’s advisers to ask if he had any rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA), as he felt the mower should have lasted longer than four and a half years.

The Consumer testing team believes it is reasonable to expect that a well-cared-for electric lawnmower should last longer than that, and as it was a motor issue, it should be covered by the CGA.   

We got in touch with Stihl’s head office on Aarnoud’s behalf and told them about his situation and suggested the CGA could well apply in this case.

Stihl got back to us straight away and said it would replace Aarnoud’s mower. As his model was now obsolete, Stihl offered him a similar model, which he accepted.

Consumer advice line.

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