The Legal Advice Office

  • The choices of a Repair, replacement or a refund when it comes to the purchase of a defective motor vehicle in terms of the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA)?

    What do you do if you purchase a defective motor vehicle from a new or second hand vehicle?

    What recourse do you have?

  • The consumer has a legal right to safe, good quality goods

     Auto Repair shop 2

    “Why is it that we now have legal recourse if we buy a motor vehicle which is defective or which was previously involved in an accident and this fact was not disclosed to us at the time that we bought the vehicle?”

     This is the question we were asked via our website.

    The answer to that question is that you have protection depending on the facts in both the common law of contract and also probably/possibly in terms of the Consumer Protection Act: No 68 of 2008 (CPA).

    In terms of the common law, you would have to rely on a breach of the contract terms by the seller of the motor vehicle or his/her bad faith, misrepresentation or failure to disclose.

  • The Consumer Protection Act - Recap

    The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008: (CPA): Section 56 (2): Recap:

    We have recently looked at the implied warranty on the quality of goods guaranteed by the CPA and more particularly section 55 & 56 of that Act of Parliament.

    There is still a lot of confusion about the Consumer’s Right to choose a Repair, Replacement or Refund in respect of Damaged or Defective Goods as guaranteed by these sections of the Act.

    As we all know by now the Consumer Protection Act (CP Act) came into operation at midnight on the 31st March 2011.

    Section 56 (2) of the Consumer Protection Act, No 68 of 2008 reads as follows:

    “Within six months after the delivery of any goods to a consumer, the consumer may return the goods to the supplier, without penalty, and at the supplier’s risk and expense, if the goods fail to satisfy the requirements and standards contemplated in section 55 (Consumers rights to safe, good quality goods) and the supplier must, at the direction of the consumer, either:

    1. Repair or replace the failed, unsafe or defective goods, or
    2. Refund to the consumer the price paid by the consumer for the goods.”

    That seems pretty straight forward; and to a very large extent self-explanatory.

    Why then do so many suppliers duck and dive; and attempt to avoid their legal obligations to the consumer and their customers. The answer to this question is that it is a nuisance to a supplier and they need to take time out; and incur cost; in repairing, replacing or refunding a consumer for an item that they have already sold to them. Things were far too comfortable for suppliers before the advent of the Consumer Protection Act as they, in the past, would simply tell us that it was not their problem once we had taken delivery of an item and paid for it.

    One has to remember that the provisions of this Act and these sections do not cover private individuals as sellers; as they are not suppliers or service providers conducting their sale in the ordinary course of business. In short the act does not cover private sales. Your remedies in the case of private sales lie in the common law of contract.

    One has to look at the definition of “a consumer” and “a supplier; in order to get confirmation that private sales are not covered by these provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.”

    Section 1 is the definition section of the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008.

    In section 1; “a consumer’ is defined in great detail. It will suffice for our purposes here to simply quote from part of the full definition: “A consumer means a person to whom those particular goods or services are marketed in the ordinary course of the supplier’s business.” The section then goes on to give a more comprehensive detailed definition which it is not necessary to dissect here but the definition of a consumer is very wide and includes just about anyone buying an item from someone else who is conducting a business enterprise in selling amongst other things that particular item/items.

    One also has to look at the definition of “a supplier” for clarity here.

    Section 1 also defines “a supplier” which means: “A person who markets any goods or services.”

    This is also a very wide definition.

    As a consequence, the Consumer Protection Act covers both goods and services provided by a supplier to a consumer.

    It does not apply to private sales as although all buyers are consumers as defined in the Act; the sellers however are not suppliers; as they do not sell their items in the ordinary course of a business enterprise; but only occasionally on a once off basis. Clearly there may be exceptions to this rule; eg someone who is not a dealer but runs a business selling second hand cars in his spare time. He may well then be a supplier as defined in the Act although not a registered car dealer.

    The Consumer Protection Act applies to all unsafe, damaged and defective goods; provided they are bought from a supplier acting in the ordinary course of his business.

    As a consumer of both goods and services our section 56(2) choice, as consumers, of “repair, refund or replace” in respect of damaged or defective goods is in addition to; and over and above the manufacturer’s warranty; and also in addition to, and over and above, any common law remedies that we may have; for example; where latent defects were deliberately not disclosed to us by a supplier.

    You, as a consumer could very well then have three separate potential claims available to you in a dispute with a supplier. These claims could be in terms of the CP Act, a common law remedy and/or in terms of a manufacturer’s warranty; provided that that dispute relates to unsafe, damaged or defective goods or services.

    In our next blog we will look at the implied warranty on repaired items as contained in section 56(3) of the Consumer Protection Act.

    Please visit our website at for more detail or send us an emailwith you queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will revert within 48 hours.

    Should you have any queries please contact our offices in that regard.

    Should you otherwise wish to comment on this or any other legal topic; please also just send us an e-mail; and we will respond.

    Thank you.

    The Legal Advice Office Team.

  • The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA): Chapter 3: Protection of Consumer’s rights and Consumers Voice: Continued: Section 69: Enforcement of rights by consumer:

    It is all very well to talk about consumer’s rights and the protection afforded by the CPA; but how does one actually enforce ones consumer rights?

    The answer to this question is contained in Chapter 3 of the CPA which deals with the protection of the consumer’s rights and gives the consumer a voice where he/she can be heard.

    Chapter 3 consists of Part A to Part D; and it covers sections 68 to 78 of the CPA

  • The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008: (CPA): Section 56 (2):

    We were looking in an earlier blog of this week at section 55 and the implied warranty with particular emphasis on the sale of motor vehicles and disgruntled consumers who had recently bought a new or used vehicle from a motor car dealership and discovered defects or damage to its components shortly after the sale.

    If this situation has happened to you; you have the protection of the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA) and also the common law; unless you caused the damage or defect to the vehicle yourself.

  • The Legal Advice Office: How do we work and what do we charge?

    The Legal Advice Office is an exclusively internet-based legal business/firm; which although run from the Western Cape offers legal advice and legal and paralegal service right throughout the whole of South Africa and we interact with our clients only by phone and by email.

  • The Legal Advice Office: Who are we and what do we do?

    What is The Legal Advice Office?

    Who are we and what do we do?

    The answer to these questions is found on our website;; but here is a brief summary.

  • The Legal Advice Office: Who are we and what do we do?

    What is The Legal Advice Office?

    Who are we and what do we actually do?

  • What do I do if I am arrested?

    People get arrested in South Africa every day.

    Normally the SAPS will only arrest a person when a serious crime is involved, but this is not always the rule and people are arrested even for what one would think are minor offences like shoplifting of reckless driving.

    If this should happen to you; what do you do?

  • What do you do if you purchase a defective motor vehicle from a new or second hand vehicle?


    Because of the number of queries we receive on literally a daily basis from our clients we are once again going to look at what to do in the situation where you have bought a “lemon” from a motor vehicle dealer.

    One of the most important decisions a consumer makes during their lifetime from time to time in his or her life is the purchase of a motor vehicle.

  • What do you do when you are involved in a dispute with another person?

    Perhaps somebody owes you money and will not pay it back?

    Maybe someone damaged your property; your car or other property and refuses to fix it at their cost?

    You could always sue them in a court, but that takes time and normally costs a lot of money

  • When are you as a consumer entitled to a refund?

    When are you as a consumer entitled to a refund?  The Consumer Protection Act: No 68 of 2008 (CPA): Refunds:

    We often get asked about refunds due to consumers in terms of the CPA or the common law.

    As a result of yet another two enquiries today; which both dealt with a refund in respect of a defective and danged motor vehicle bought by a client, we believe that we need to explain this issue again today.

  • When can you return damaged or defective goods or items purchased? Your legal rights to return damaged goods:

    At The Legal Advice Office; we get many enquiries every single week from clients and consumers about whether, when and how they can go about returning faulty or damages goods that they have bought from a supplier.

  • When I die, what happens?

    Death, like taxes, they say, is inevitable (for all of us.)
    When it does happen we hope we go to Heaven; but what happens down here on Earth in our absence.

    Besides the fact that we will be missed; the family and friends we had during our lifetime have to carry on without us.

  • Who are Lawyers and what is their function?

     lawyers attorneys and paralegals

    The Legal Profession: Lawyers: Who are they and what functions do they deliver?

    In this blog; we thought we would answer a question which often arises; as the man in the street gets confused between lawyers, attorneys, advocates and several other generic names for those who practice law as legal practitioners.

    We hope to clarify this question.

    Who and what are lawyers?

  • Who are the legal advice office?

    Who are The Legal Advice Office?

    Who are we and what do we do?

    What makes us unique?

    Why should you use our services?

  • Why do I now have protection if I buy a defective item?

    Consumer Protection

    The answer to this question is found in The Consumer Protection Act: No 68 of 2008(CPA): Section 55: Consumer’s rights to safe, good quality goods:

    “Quality is everyone’s responsibility” is a quote by W. Edward Deming; and should be aspired to by all of us.

    In our previous blog we looked at what you can do if you buy a defective item.

    Now we look at why it is that we enjoy that protection.

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Legal Advice Office

South Africa

Kandelaar Street, Vermont, Hermanus
Phone: +27 (028) 316 2832