A complaint by Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand (MMNZ) about a rival distributor’s new vehicle warranty will go before the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Lawyers for MMNZ wrote to SsangYong importer Great Lake Motor Distributors (GLMD) on December 6 demanding it “immediately cease” by December 8 advertising that the SsangYong G4 Rexton SUV (above) has a “class-leading warranty” and the “best new car warranty available in New Zealand.”
The letter, from legal firm MinterEllisonRuddWatts to GLMD chairman Rick Cooper, said the published statements about the G4 Rexton mislead consumers and breached sections of the Fair Trading Act.
MinterEllisonRuddWatts said MMNZ’s Diamond Avantage warranty was “New Zealand’s best new car warranty based upon the features that the warranty includes.”
It was therefore incorrect of Cooper to claim G4 Rexton’s was the best, the letter said. It ended with: “MMNZ reserves all rights, including to commence High Court proceedings against GLMD in the event demands continued (contained?) in this letter are not met.”
Cooper, a former Taupo mayor, replied in writing to MinterEllisonRuddWatts on December 15: “Sorry but we do not agree with you and precious clients (sic) opinions. As you stated your clients (sic) warranty is not transferable to subsequent owners, where ours is.”
GLMD advertises the G4 Rexton warranty as a transferable five-year/150,000km factory-backed pledge with five-year roadside assistance from the AA and a 10-year anti-rust guarantee.
Transferable, Cooper has said, means the warranty remains in force regardless of how many owners G4 Rexton has within the five-year/150,000km deal.
The MMNZ Diamond Advantage warranty is a non-transferable five-year/130,000km guarantee with a 10-year/160,000km non-transferable powertrain cover. It also has five-year roadside assist from the AA.
The ASA has asked Cooper to respond in writing to the MMNZ complaint by 5pm Friday, January 19. A date for the hearing has yet to be set.