Global supplier allegedly makes false or misleading claims.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is hitting down hard on LG Electronics, seeking declarations, injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective notices, a trade practices compliance program and costs. This follows the ACCC’s proceedings in the Federal Court against LG alleging that the company made false or misleading representations to consumers about their rights in relation to faulty LG products.

A company statement provided to Appliance Retailer read, “Due to the ongoing nature of these proceedings, no further comment will be made at this stage except to say that LG is committed to its customers and compliance with its obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.”

It is alleged by the ACCC that, in relation to complaints about defects with its televisions, LG misrepresented to consumers, retailers or repairers that:

  • the remedies available to consumers were limited to the LG manufacturer’s warranty;
  • where the defect occurred after the LG manufacturer’s warranty had expired:
  • the consumer was only entitled to a remedy if the consumer paid for the costs of assessing the failure; and/or
  • LG had no further obligations, and any step it took in relation to the television was an act of goodwill; and/or
  • the consumer was only entitled to have the television repaired (and not to a refund or a replacement); and/or
  • the consumer was liable for the labour costs of the repair.

“When consumers buy products, they come with a consumer guarantee under the Australian Consumer Law that they will be of acceptable quality. This guarantee is in addition to any express manufacturer’s warranty,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“Although the manufacturer’s warranty only applies for a specified period of time, consumers will often still be entitled under the consumer guarantee to a repair, refund or replacement after the manufacturer’s warranty ends.”

”The ACCC will not hesitate to take appropriate action against manufacturers who misrepresent consumers’ rights and remedies for defective products under the Australian Consumer Law.

“The Australian Parliament has conferred these important rights on consumers, and these rights should not be undermined by misrepresentations,” Sims added.

The matter is listed for a Case Management Conference in the Federal Court in Melbourne before Justice Middleton on 5 February 2016 at 10:15am.

This story first appeared in Appliance Retailer