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Caravan Research Project looking at defects in caravan manufacture

Have you ever encountered a manufacture defect in your caravan that rendered it unsafe to tow. Would you like the opportunity to have your say about the experience to have the defects corrected. If so, then read on 

Hi 'Vanners 

The Australian National University, ANU College of Law is conducting research to identify whether the Australian consumer law and the Australian vehicle standards are ineffective in ensuring that only caravans that are fit for purpose are used on Australian roads. 

The project is reviewing relevant law applicable to the design and sale of caravans including the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (Cth), the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (Cth) and Vehicle Standards Bulletin VSB1 Building Small Trailers National Code of Practice. Other relevant law will be the Australian Consumer Law (or ACL). The ACL is set out in Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). 

It is complemented by state and territory laws to ensure that all manner of consumer transactions are covered. 

We are conducting a survey that is looking for details of the consumer experience in obtaining remedies for defects in caravan manufacturer. 

We are interested in finding out about your experience with defects that render the vehicle unsafe to tow.   

This research is not looking at what we call ‘defects of convenience’ e.g. faults in design that affect whether the caravan is waterproof, or various fixtures an fittings work. Whilst no doubt inconvenient, disappointing and expensive to repair, these do not go to the safety of the vehicle.  Within scope will be defects in gas and/or electrical installation as these must be certified as safe as part of the registration process and go to the question of whether the van is safe and fit for purpose. 

If you have relevant experience with defects and with trying to get those remedies corrected we invite you to complete this survey.  The survey involves 21 questions that mostly ask you to select from various options and, in some cases, to add any comments you would like to make.  

We anticipate that taking the survey will take no more than 20 minutes.  Completion of the survey is voluntary and anonymous.  You are asked to identify your gender, age range and state or territory of residence but there is no further identifying information requested.   Your consent to taking part in this survey will be implied by your decision to complete the survey and submit your answers.  Once your answers have been submitted we will not be able to identify them so you will not be able to withdraw your answers or your consent once you havesubmitted the completed survey.  

The results of the survey will be used to compare the lived experience of obtaining repairs and remedies against the stated aims of the Australian Consumer law.   The results will form the basis of recommendations to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Federal Government for changes to the ACL and remedies.  Apart from reports to government the results of the study will be used by the principal researcher to complete a paper in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Juris Doctor at the Australian National University. It is also anticipated that the research will be used by the supervisor and the principle researcher to prepare a journal article for publication in an appropriate refereed academic journal.  

If you are ready to complete the survey – follow this link to the Caravan consumer satisfaction survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YXFSN6X