Nissan Motor Co (Australia) has paid three infringement notices totalling $19,800 and provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC for misleading advertising.
The Dualis Paintball advertisement showed both a red ST manual hatch DUALIS and a silver Ti AWD DUALIS. The silver DUALIS was a superior grade vehicle that included optional extras such as metallic paint, panoramic sunroof and leather seats and trim. However, the driveaway price displayed in the advertisement only applied to the red DUALIS.
“Traders must ensure that consumers are not misled about the price of advertised goods. An advertisement which features a vehicle with optional extras, such as metallic paint or a sunroof, but only promotes the driveaway price for a base model is prone to mislead consumers,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“We have received a number of complaints about this type of advertising, and we need to ensure advertising standards are maintained.
“Following an investigation into the advertising practices of the motor vehicle industry in 2010, the ACCC is continuing to monitor traders to ensure advertising standards within the industry remain high. Nissan has cooperated with the ACCC’s investigation and this outcome should send a warning to the motor vehicle industry as a whole,” Mr Sims said.
Nissan has acknowledged that the advertisement was likely to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The court enforceable undertaking requires Nissan to publish a corrective notice in The Australian and review its trade practices compliance program to ensure that this type of conduct does not occur again.
The payment of an infringement notice penalty is not an admission of a contravention of the ACL. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.