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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Complaints about motor vehicles or trailers

Unsafe vehicles and Queensland safety certificate complaints

Transport and Main Roads manage complaints about unsafe vehicles and Queensland safety certificates.

If you have bought a motor vehicle or trailer that you think may be unsafe or have a problem with your vehicle's Queensland safety certificate or vehicle registration Transport and Main Roads can help by:

  • inspecting vehicles for defects
  • investigating allegations about Queensland safety certificates and vehicle registrations that may seem questionable.

How to make a complaint about an unsafe vehicle or Queensland safety certificate

You can make a complaint or give feedback by:

Consumer complaints

The Office of Fair Trading manages consumer complaints.

Bought a faulty vehicle? Paid for something that never arrived or was not included or not up to the standard you believed you had paid for? As a consumer, you have a right to complain. In relation to motor vehicles and trailers, the Office of Fair Trading’s role is to:

  • licence traders selling second hand vehicles
  • promote your rights as a consumer
  • consider consumer complaints about:
    • the conduct of traders who are breaking the law
    • unethical business behaviour regarding vehicle manufacturing.

The Office of Fair Trading, part of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, works to create a fairer and safer Queensland and increase business and consumer confidence by protecting consumers and businesses against unethical behaviour.

How to make a consumer complaint

For consumer complaints about buying a motor vehicle contact the Office of Fair Trading.

Before you contact the Office of Fair Trading, try to resolve your consumer complaint directly with the business that sold you the item or service.

  • Check your consumer rights and responsibilities under the law. Goods and services must meet certain standards and, in some cases, you may be legally entitled to a refund if these standards are not met.
  • Be clear about what the problem is and what would be reasonable to get it resolved. Do you want a refund, repair or the job done again free of charge?
  • Gather evidence, such as proof of purchase (receipts) and evidence of the fault or problem (photos, video footage). Remember that if you cannot resolve the dispute with the trader, you may have to go to court to get a refund. Think about what evidence you would need to give to a judge.
  • Keep records or even a complaint diary. Use them to list what happened, when it happened and who you spoke to. This will help to jog your memory when you are discussing your complaint.
  • Make the complaint as soon as possible.

Regulating the manufacture, importation and supply of new road vehicles

The Australian Government regulates the manufacture, importation and supply to the market of new road vehicles to ensure an acceptable level of safety, emission control and theft protection across the Australian vehicle fleet. 

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (the department) administers these arrangements under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 and Motor Vehicle Standards Regulations 1989. Vehicle standards are set through the Australian Design Rules. Additionally, the department also carries out safety investigations and monitors vehicle recalls on behalf of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

How to make a complaint

The department considers complaints that vehicles are not compliant with relevant Australian Design Rules, or that they otherwise have safety defects that will or may cause injury within the terms of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010

For further information please refer to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website to submit a Vehicle Complaint Form.

Offensive advertising on a vehicle

If you see advertising on a vehicle with language, slogans or images on it that you find offensive, you can make a complaint to Ad Standards.

How to make a complaint to Ad Standards

You can lodge your complaint online by following the prompts.

You will need to provide:

  • a photograph of the vehicle showing the material you find offensive and the vehicle registration number
  • your surname
  • your suburb
  • details of your complaint

Information that you provide will be considered by a panel of people (Ad Standards Community Panel) who will decide if the material breaches the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics.

If the material is found to be offensive and is not removed from the Queensland registered vehicle, the Department of Transport and Main Roads can take action to cancel the registration so that it cannot be used on the road.

Contact Ad Standards

Ad Standards
PO Box 5110
Ph: (02) 6173 1500

Last updated 19 January 2023