Honda Australia in Hot Soup Over Claims It Mislead Customers About Dealerships It Cut Off

Japanese automaker Honda is in a pickle after ACCA (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) accused it of misleading Australian customers about where they could service their vehicles, robbing them of the opportunity to make a well-informed decision.
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The ACCA on Wednesday took Honda Australia to court, accusing the automaker of giving false information to its clients about two local dealerships that had stopped servicing their vehicles, Reuters reported.

According to the Australian consumer watchdog, the Japanese automaker misled its clients about auto service arrangements, redirecting them to its online service booking system after switching to a fixed price business model in 2021.

As of July 2021, Honda Australia got into new contracts with Honda dealerships as they transitioned into non-negotiable fixed prices. It was the first time in 52-years that the Japanese giant was selling automobiles at a non-negotiable fixed price in the country.

During the transition, Honda cut down on the number of dealers in Australia from 105 to 90 outlets. Brighton Automotive in Victoria and Tynan Motors in New South Wales were among the 15 cut off.

The ACCA said that between January and June 2021, Honda told clients of Brighton Automotive and Tynan Motors that the dealerships would not service Honda vehicles moving forward.

The Australian watchdog commission added that the Japanese giant misled its clients about the dealerships through text messages, emails, and telephone conversations, saying they had closed, directing them to other Honda dealerships or service centers for their next appointment.

However, the said dealerships were still servicing vehicles that included Honda models independently. The ACCA accused the Japanese giant of harming Brighton Automotive and Tynan Motors by misleading its clients that they had or would shut down, affecting their customer footfall. The competition watchdog wants the automaker penalized in court.

Honda did not comment on the accusation claiming that it is still reviewing the filing but told Reuters that it is cooperating with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s investigation.
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About the author: Humphrey Bwayo
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Humphrey is a car enthusiast whose love and passion for automobiles extended into collecting, writing, driving, and working on cars. He got his passion for cars from his Dad, who spent thousands of hours working on his old junky 1970 E20 Toyota Corolla. Years later, he would end up doing the same with a series of lemons he’s owned throughout his adult life.
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