ACCC v LG Electronics Australia Pty Ltd  FCA 1047: Federal Court Dismisses Claim against LG Electronics
In the case of ACCC v LG Electronics Australia Pty Ltd  FCA 1047 (1 September 2017) the Federal Court has dismissed proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC) against LG Electronics Australia Pty Ltd (LG).
Background to the Judgment
The ACCC commenced proceedings in the Federal Court in December 2015. LG has previously provided the ACCC with three separate undertakings relating to allegations of misleading or deceptive conduct in 2005, 2006 and 2010.
The ACCC has previously taken court action against LG for misleading or deceptive conduct with respect to the existence and duration of statutory warranties.
In the current LG case, the ACCC had argued that LG had misrepresented to consumers, retailers, or repairers that remedies available to consumers were limited to the LG manufacturer’s warranty; and where a defect occurred after the warranty had expired the consumer was only entitled to a remedy if the consumer paid for the costs of assessing the failure and that LG had no further obligations.
The ACCC presented several examples where customers agreed with LG to pay for labour or parts to repair a television, even though they might have been entitled to refunds and/or replacements under Australian Consumer Law (the ACL).
The Current Judgment
Justice Middleton dismissed all of these allegations. His Honour said at [para 119]:
and at [para 120]:
The ACCC Argument
The ACCC also argued that information on LG's website about manufacturer warranties was misleading, because it put information about ACL at the bottom of the site in "small and closely spaced text" [at para 153]. Middleton J rejected this, saying at [paras 156-157]:
He said further at [para 161]:
Reaction and Comment from the ACCC
Commenting on the judgment, ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said:
Ms Rickard stressed that consumers should be aware that, even if a manufacturer’s warranty expires, they may still be entitled to a repair, refund, or replacement under the ACL on guarantees.
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ACCC v LG Electronics Australia Pty Ltd  FCA 1047 (1 September 2017)