Recent Cases

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Mazda Australia Pty Limited [2023] FCAFC 45 (23 March 2023) (MORTIMER, LEE AND HALLEY JJ)


CONSUMER LAW – misleading or deceptive conduct – false or misleading representations – appeal – where primary judge found Mazda Australia Pty Limited (Mazda) contravened s 18(1) and s 29(1)(m) of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by making false representations concerning existence or effect of consumer guarantees, rights or remedies and false representations that it had reasonable grounds for expressing opinions that nine consumers who had purchased Mazda vehicles not entitled to refund or replacement vehicle at no cost to them under ACL (misrepresentation case) – where false representations were found to arise by implication – where consideration of whether a representation that a party has reasonable grounds for expressing opinion should be approached from perspective of target audience – appeal dismissed

CONSUMER LAW – unconscionable conduct – where misrepresentation case provided foundation for unconscionable conduct case – appeal – where primary judge found Mazda did not contravene s 21 of the ACL – where no dishonesty or systemic conduct case alleged – where Australian Competition and Consumer Commission contends primary judge failed to use correct judicial technique to assess unconscionability, give sufficient weight to relevant findings and provide adequate reasons – where primary judge faced with unenviable task but ultimately did not provide sufficient reasons – where majority conclude independently of primary judge that Mazda’s conduct does not sufficiently depart from acceptable commercial behaviour to contravene s 21 of the ACL – appeal dismissed