Car dealer sold me different model. What I can do to escalate?

Bought a used Mitsubishi ASX from a car dealer 3 years ago and that car was listed as MY14. Last week when I tried to sell it, the buyer did all his checks and showed me documents that this is actually a MY13 car. I tried to talk with the dealership multiple times to understand why this happened(without any expectation of financial compensation) but they are not responding at all.

Now, I want to ensure that their negligence is treated accordingly and want to escalate this matter. Looking for recommendation from ozbargain community about this matter.

closed Comments

  • +6

    MY doesn't mean a whole lot it just signifies the model version. Build and Compliance mean the most. MY14 started in August 2013.

    What's the build and compliance dates of the vehicle? What build/compliance does it say on your contract?

    • +2

      The documents says that its a 2013 Mitsubishi ASX(2WD) XB MY14 Station Wagon but when a mechanic came for inspection, he said its actually MY13.

      • +22

        but when a mechanic came for inspection, he said its actually MY13.

        What's on the car itself, on the build and compliance plates?!

        Why do people get confused at that question. Physically check the car, not what someone has said.

        At the end of your day, the contract states 2013, which it is. You'd have to get the lawyers in to fight them over the MY13 vs MY14 discrepancy, given that you're now coming to them after 3 years… Highly likely the same Used Car Manager isn't even there, which means no one will fall on their sword for the data input issue.

        The thing is, there's differences, but when you bought the car you just went "oh it's a 2013 ASX ok", you didn't specifically request a MY13 or MY14 and that wouldn't have been apparent until you saw the contract. You may not have looked at 2014 ASX models back then as they would've been outside your price range.

        • -11

          Hi, I bought this based on their add at Carsales and it was clearly mentioned as MY14. So, there was no need for me to ask specifically for MY14 model.

          • @Skymstr: And you didn't realise the alloys were the wrong size?

            Again, if you were truly chasing a 2013 built, my14 vehicle…

            • +7

              @spackbace: This!!!!
              The only difference between MY13 and MY14 seems to be the different wheel size (16" vs 17").
              3 years later and OP still hasn't noticed the difference.

              Some could argue this is worth thousands alone but obviously hasn't bothered OP.

            • +42

              @spackbace: You've been in the industry a long time. Regular people do not double check the wheel/tyre size to verify. Of all the cars I have bought, not only did I not physically double check the actual wheel size of the vehicle, for the most part I didn't even know how big the wheels were supposed to be at all.
              I would be pissed off if I was sold the wrong model as opposed to what was clearly advertised and agreed upon.

              • @AndrewCh: Thing is though, with a used car you get the one you look at. Either see it in person or photos. You don’t check the wheel size, but if it has different rims to what you are expecting you’ll go buy another.

                It’s not like they pick the next one from the factory in that right colour as with a new car.

                • @Euphemistic: This is a good point. Buying a 2nd hand car you buy the car you're looking at. It's not like ordering a car and getting a different one.

            • +8

              @spackbace: So on the one hand, there's virtually no difference

              MY doesn't mean a whole lot it just signifies the model version

              And then later on its "how could you not notice the glaring differences"

              And you didn't realise the alloys were the wrong size?

              • -1

                @AndrewCh: Different MY's have different effects. Majority of the time it's meaningless.

                Thing is, no one is buying a used vehicle blind. You get the chance to look at it, and make sure it suits what you want. OP was sold a 2013 ASX, he got a 2013 ASX.

                OP had no idea the differences between a 2013 and MY14 vehicle. He likely went "Oh, it's advertised as a MY14 so must be a late-2013 built vehicle", yet didn't bother to double check the compliance plate to make sure.

                1 was a data entry issue by the dealer, picking the wrong redbook code. The other was OP not checking that issue, if it was actually a desirable feature for them (hindsight is a lovely thing and most likely they just wanted the cheapest, and didn't have a clue about MY14 or MY13 when they bought it)

                According to Redbook - 2013 should sell for $8,000-$9,800, MY14 should sell for $8300-$10,200. So we're talking differences of $300-$500 in resale. And again, that's if the car wasn't already bought cheaper in the first place over a MY14 model.

                $500 difference in resale is the difference in the buyer and seller today and their abilities to negotiate.

                • +9

                  @spackbace: Except it was the wrong MY (as per the contract), and apparently with the wrong size alloy wheels…
                  I'm sorry that we useless consumers have this weird expectation to get what we paid for, especially when it is stated in writing.
                  E.g. If I bought a laptop and later discovered it had the wrong internal components as to what was advertised and agreed upon in writing, I would not accept "well too bad, you've been using it already, your fault for not checking"

                  • +3

                    @AndrewCh: So take the dealer to court, that's what it comes down to.

                    Current dealership staff aren't going to bother with a 3yo complaint. So you're left with one resource - court. For a $500 claim.

                    Hence why most commenters are saying just to move on with life.

                    If you want your day in court, and the stress involved and time off work, over a $500 claim, then go right on ahead, no one's stopping

          • +8

            @Skymstr: On this site being correct is no guarantee that people won't neg you into oblivion.
            Here it seems that people are confusing the issue of your proper checks with the law of misleading or deceptive conduct.
            If the vehicle was advertised as something it was not, them they have likely misled you and you are entitled to a remedy.
            Your likely loss is the difference between what you were promised and what you received.

            • +2

              @Almost Banned: But how were they misled? What did they not get that they were expecting?
              As far as I can tell the car's MY was not one of their shopping criteria. They're just noting what was on the paperwork.

              • @bmerigan: The OP specifically says the car was advertised as MY14, and the car they received was MY13.
                The mistake does not need to be deliberate, is just needs to have been misleading which in this case it clearly was.
                There might be an issue about whether the misleading conduct caused the loss - it is possible that the OP decided to buy without regard to the MY - but in a situation like this a connection would not be hard to establish.

            • @Almost Banned: Which is $500.
              So being correct and getting lawyers involve will net him $500.
              Of course what happens if he is wrong?

              • @IHatePeople: And this is exactly why businesses continue to mislead and deceive, and why consumer protections are frequently ignored - because most businesses know that most cases are not worth pursuing.
                So consumers continue to get denied their statutory rights.

          • +5

            @Skymstr: I have no idea why you got negged for this as I completely agree with you. Try Fair trading or whatever the equivalent is in your state

          • @Skymstr: There is your problem there.

      • +3

        MY typically stands for Model Year but its not necessarily the year the car was built…

        It is perfectly normal and acceptable to have a car that was built in 2013 but is labelled MY14 due to an update or revision of the model since the MY13 edition.
        See here:

        In the end they are both 2013 models.

        To be fair the mechanic should have pointed this out
        The bottom line is "whats the difference between MY13 and MY14 ASX"
        The answer is precious little.
        They are virtually IDENTICAL
        Hence there would be minimal difference in the market value
        What plays a much greater role is the kms travelled, service history and the condition of the vehicle

        And if you look up Redbook there are 13 variations of this model:
        2WD vs 4WD
        Petrol vs Diesel
        Auto vs Manual
        Aspire vs Std
        These are the REAL differences
        But also MY13 vs MY14
        The mechanic is just using this to get OP down on price.
        The throw back is to ask the mechanic to point of the difference if any???

        Anyway 3 years later is a bit late to be complaining to the dealer from whom OP bought the car.
        OP should have made the checks BEFORE they bought the car.
        As they say "the ship has sailed"

        I should add the OP was NOT sold a different model.
        As I said they are both 2013 models and rather identical at that

    • +1

      I don't understand all these comments saying "model year really doesn't matter, it's the build date that matters"… To me it's the complete opposite. All carsales adds lead with the model year in the title, not the build month, there's a good reason for this.

      Model years signify when changes are released, i.e if you were looking at a ford and wanted to make sure you wanted sync 3 not sync 2 you might make sure you were getting a MY17 model or whatever… In this case it sounds like it was "just" different wheels.

      I understand why OP is annoyed however it probably isn't worth worrying about at this point and just move on and cut your losses.

      • -8

        To me it's the complete opposite. All carsales adds lead with the model year in the title,

        Try again.

        An example:

        2013 Mitsubishi ASX Aspire XB Auto 4x4 MY14

        Notice that "MY14" is at the end?

        Want to revisit your comment, now that it's completely wrong?

        Ooh you'll neg vote me instead, well done!

        • Mate I haven't negged you at all. I only just checked back here. Though you do currently have 6 negs and no upvotes, so I don't think your point was overly well received.

          I didn't literally mean at the front of the title when I said that, so sorry for that misunderstanding.

          What I meant was the model year is what's in the title, not the build month… You really didn't address that at, just nit picked about the placement of MY in the title…

  • +2

    MY is a marketing term. It's the build date that matters

    You can sell it as MY14 but if people do their homework when you didn't than nothing you can do about it unfortunately

    • I asked the mechanic about the difference. He said, the compliance date for this car is Feb, 2013 but for a MY14 car, the compliance date should be around Nov/Dec, 2013. The price also varies considering when they are available in the market.

      • -1

        You can take the matter to civil court (VCAT etc) and seek payment of the loss in sale price between a MY13 v MY14 but You need to check through the contract of what you signed

        • The contract clearly says its 2013 Mitsubishi ASX(2WD) XB MY14 Station Wagon. I bought this on finance arranged by the same dealer which also shows the same specifications.

            • +1

              @chumlee: MY13 ones released early 2013 so they are available in the market in 2013
              MY14 ones released late 2013 and quite often they will be available in the market at around Dec, 2013/ Jan, 2014

      • +10

        We are talking a few months within the SAME YEAR.
        That is NO DIFFERENCE at all
        Both are 2013 models.
        In the end the mechanic hasnt pointed out any real differences.
        The mechanic is just trying to get the price down for the buyer.
        Condition of car, service history and kms travelled plays a much bigger role in valuation than an few numbers on the plate.
        And that would be the honest opinion of any mechanic.
        Dont be fooled by this OP.

  • +38

    He is just trying to squeeze another $1,000 out of you.

    • +9


      Move on to another buyer who would be happy with your asking price for the car

    • +12

      100% what GangGang is saying… It's just lowball fuel.

  • -3

    MY is just a marketing term. This would be like suing because you bought soap that says 99.9% germ free but you still think there are more than 0.1% of germs left. Good luck fighting it.

    It's a silly thing to get s fussed over. MY labels are inconsistently marked all the time. A 1 year difference on the MY doesn't represent a significant loss in value on a standard car anyway. You weren't cheated.

  • +1

    Is there an actual damn difference? The model year literally doesn't mean anything unless there was an actual different in the vehicle between those two model years.

    • I have researched this and could not find any difference.

  • +4

    What is the 10th digit of the VIN? Is it a D or an E?

    D = 2013 MY
    E = 2014 MY

    • Hi, its D. Thanks.

      • +34

        Then is it a 2013 MY.

        The difference in price then compared to now would be only very minor. You are not going to get thousands back or a refund of the vehicle. You would waste more time chasing them up over it than what the difference is worth.

        Advertise it as a 2013, because anyone who is going to lowball you on it being a 2014 is only looking for something to pick on. Tell them it's not for sale and move onto the next buyer who isn't looking for minor things to try and break down the price.

    • -5

      We already know the answer to that

  • +16

    Bought a used Mitsubishi ASX from a car dealer 3 years ago

    You left it way too late, 3 years is a LONG time for you not to notice….. You should have been doing all your checks on pickup before driving out.

    Anyhow that ship has sailed, so suck the $500 loss up on it being a MY13 over a MY14 and move on with your life. Next time check what you're buying is what you think you're buying.

    Or spend $5000+ in lawyers to win a case, and get the dealer to cut you a chq for $500.

    • +12

      Did you honestly physically check the wheel diameter of the last car you bought?
      The OP was clearly misled and sold something that was different to what is stated in the contract. To me this is the clearest breach of consumer Law possible. Honest mistake or not, it is up to the dealership to fix this

      • -2

        It’s usually obvious which wheel type you are getting. The different sizes will look different. You don’t need to check the tyre print.

        The OP was not misled. They looked at the vehicle, found it suitable, paid for it and drove it away. That’s buyer beware.

      • Did you honestly physically check the wheel diameter of the last car you bought?

        Yep, last set of tyres I got put on the car, when they had been done, I did a check to make sure what I ordered/asked for/paid for, was what was on the car BEFORE I drove away.

        Very easy to do really, its written on the side wall of the tyre, just like that little plate inside the door the OP has been seeing for the past 3 years that tells them what model it is ;)

        The OP was clearly misled and sold something that was different to what is stated in the contract.

        mislead would imply it was on purpose, most likely it was a mistake in the paperwork, that neither the dealer NOR the OP picked up at the time.

        Honest mistake or not, it is up to the dealership to fix this

        The dealer can't fix this now, they can't take the car back and give the OP one a year later. The best they could do is refund $500 difference between the values of the cars.

        As above, if they don't play ball and honestly why would they 3 years later, the OP is going to spend more than $500 to 'win'.

        • You checked the tyre size when you bought a set of tyres, not an entire car. The equivalent in this scenario is to say you didn't check the rubber compound itself and so it is ok that they sold you an inferior set of tyres

          I'm not suggesting they take the car back, but refunding the difference in price (at the original time of purchase) seems the most logical thing to do

          • +1


            not an entire car.

            Last car I purchased (new), I checked over the car before handing over the bank chq for the remaining amount.

            This included, colour, build year, tyres in new cond, add on features I ordered, heater/ac works, and many other checks, and even ensured the tank was full as agreed.

            I've had a few brand new cars over the time, one new car pick up they didn't have all the paperwork correct for a factory extended warranty, so I left the car there and took my money with me, until they sorted it out. Its amazing how quick they can fix things when you haven't paid.

            Just because other people are lazy and don't check these things in the excitement of a new car/new to them, doesn't mean everyone doesn't check them out.

            I also purchased a ex dealer car that had marks on it, the dealer said they would polish out before I picked it up. The same applied, made the sure they did polish out and everything was correct BEFORE handing over the money, as once its handed out and you drive out, it makes things so much harder to fix.

      • +2

        Yes I did. I bought a commodore redline which I knew had a special wheel size. Pretty much the first thing I looked for.

        It surprises me that people do zero research on buying something so expensive.

        • Did you check every single component? Did you check the air conditioning unit to make sure it matched? Did you physically inspect the axle?
          Bottom line is; if someone was selling me a product labelled "XYZ" and that was written into the contract I would expect my product to match

          • +2

            @AndrewCh: LOL, I checked enough components to ensure that I was reasonably confident that the car was what it should be. I knew it had special wheels, lowered FE3 suspension and Brembo brakes. Took me less than 30 seconds to work all that out.

            If OP specifically wanted the MY14 and the only difference is the wheels then how has it taken 3 years to discover that they aren't there? This is similar to the other post from someone who bought a Mazda MX5 but didn't realise after a number of years that it didn't have the engine that he wanted…

            You are right though, you do expect the product to match the contract but when you are spending thousands of dollars then I am going to make sure its all good. Its called doing your due diligence.

            • @ewan82: So my guess is that the OP didn't specifically want the My14 model but when they saw that was what was advertised, then did all research based on that and made up their minds on a fair price based on the My14 model.
              Hence not knowing specific wheel size, etc.

              That's how I buy a car too. For my last purchase I did not go and verify the wheel diameter, and didn't know what it was 'supposed' to be (in my defence the specific wheel diameter was not important to me). I took it on good faith that it would be what was advertised. I did not physically check to see if it was the original engine or a replacement nor did I visually inspect the airbag to see if it was still there

              Your example appears to be for an enthusiast car with specific features. Would you do the same amount of checks if you were buying a Toyota corolla ascent model and physically check the difference between that and a base model corolla?

              • @AndrewCh: That’s sort of my point. If they weren’t fussed about the different features from my13 to my14 I don’t see any great problem. Granted it’s annoying and they may have been able to get the my13 a bit cheaper than than the my14. In my case it would have been a significant difference and I wouldn’t of bought the car if I knew it didn’t have those things I wanted.

                And yes I am a bit of an enthusiast and I actually love corollas too and I would have gone over it in detail. But yeah if I am paying extra for features over a base model you bet I will know the difference.

                Tbh it’s more of a life lesson. Not worth worrying about or pursuing for the small difference in value. I think most people know that the dealer will try to rip them off.

                • @ewan82:

                  Not worth worrying about or pursuing for the small difference in value

                  I guess the whole thread hinges on the actual dollars involved in the difference in value

              • @AndrewCh: Wheel size isn't the only difference. A MY14 also has a different looking compliance plate.

      • I did - it was one of the criteria I was shopping for.

      • Honest mistake, clearly misled, which one is it?

        • +1

          "Honest mistake" and "clearly misled" aren't mutually exclusive. The dealer could have made an honest mistake (e.g. typo), but the customer was still misled. I did not say deliberately misled

    • +1

      Id say OP has made NO LOSS other than depreciation.
      OP was happy with the vehicle and the price at the time they bought the car.
      OP wasnt concerned about MY13 vs MY14 and neigther will most others.
      The car should just be advertised as a 2013 model

      • +2

        The OP's loss is the difference in price between the models, which has now literally resulted in a potential loss in the resale price. Maybe they get lucky and don't lose much at all but that is beside the point. You are supposed to get the exact product that you purchase (whether you notice or not is irrelevant)

        • -2

          Value for used cars is determined by condition of car, service history and kms travelled.
          The MY year plays no role at all unless there is a signifciant difference
          OP knew the car was an early 2013 model hence no loss between models.
          There is little or no diffrenec between MY13 and MY14 hence its not a valid argument for a lower price.
          The price is what OP asks based on the overall condition of the car.
          Depreciation will always result in a loss

          • +3

            @Amayzingone: They've literally had a buyer pick up on this and mention it.
            The price is what another person is willing to pay, and this had clearly been affected by the mistake

  • +8

    Typical stealership behaviour…..

  • -1

    Are you able to explain the situation to the buyer, sell it for a little discount?

    • +4

      I wouldnt buy into that.
      Its exactly what the buyer is looking for.
      Condition of car, service history and kms travelled are far more important in determining the value of a used car

  • +6

    Yeah, used car dealers are the worst. I brought a CX7, and it had a service history … that at first glance seemed okay. Then after purchase and when things went wrong, on closer look the service history was for 2 completely different cars (different VIN numbers and color). So I'm sure to check that fact now when I look at used vehicles.

    There was zero recourse and consumer affairs would do nothing about it.

  • +3

    You would need to revert to the contract for sale and prove there was a breach of contract.
    You should still be with your time to make a claim but i would assume the non recoverable costs of civil litigation would negate any compensation/remedy that was made available to you, and having said so this i would assume would be at a discounted return based on depreciation. So even if you were to win you likely would only receive 40% of the actual difference at time of purchase.

    As one person mentioned earlier youre better finding a new buyer and moving on having learnt from your experience. Some battles are simply not worth fighting unless you clearly do not care about the financial costs involved.

    And for future regardless of the "MY" make sure you know what youre buying. Rather than buy a MY14 produced say 12/13 complied 01/14 for example request on the contract for sale its built and complied 2014. Unless of course the dealer has discounted it accordingly to incentivise the sale as "last years model" which they generally do.
    Just because the calendar ticks over dosnt mean the model changes, its more just a sales tactic and a buyers perception discount tactic.

    Also its a private sale used so no buyers recourse, if the buyer dosnt check they cant do anything after the money has been transferred.

    • +2

      Just curious as to why you think depreciation applies?
      OP got the wrong car at time of purchase, it didn't suddenly revert to the wrong car just now

  • +1

    Last car I sold a buyer told me this about my car and sent me adverts showing that the model year he thought it was sold for $2K cheaper. He then offered me $1800 less. I told him his other adverts were great deals and if they were so cheap he should buy one of them instead of my car. He emailed that wasn't what he meant, I was supposed to drop my price, I told him I knew exactly what he meant but there was no price drop and if he wanted a $1800 discount he should buy the other cars with a better deal. This went back and forth, each time confirming to me this was just a bargaining tactic. In the end I dropped $500 and he bought my car.

    • +12

      Try doing that on a daily basis! ;)

      • +1

        Aren’t you a salesperson? Isn’t negotiating part of the job description?

        • +2

          Yep, but was more referring to the other sides idiotic way of trying to justify their offer

          • +3

            @spackbace: Fair. Kinda like the “If my boss knew I was giving you this deal, I’d get my ass kicked” routine.

            Twice i’ve had that one and walked out to get a better deal at the dealer one suburb over.

            But it’s part of the game. Both sides do it.

        • +1

          "your trade-in car is old, it will just go to be crushed"

    • +2

      That's GUMTREE in a nutshell .. advertise something for $1000, will you take $250 for it?! Bye Felicia.

      • +4

        The other side of Gumtree is private sellers selling for more than what the local car yard has the same car for. Then get all offended when you try to negotiate. They are just a big of a time waster as the tyre kickers and low ballers.

        • +4

          Why would you even bother contacting a private seller whose asking price was higher than a car yard? Seems like a low chance of success on that strategy, so really you're wasting your own time (and theirs)

          • -1

            @AndrewCh: I usually wait until the car/bike they are selling has been on there for a substantial amount of time and then call them when they haven’t had any replies. Or wait till they have their first $200 price drop.

            If I get any resistance up front, I just tell them “good luck getting that price for it when the same is available from a dealer for less AND with stat warranty.” And leave them to it. Give it some more time and call back again.

            • @pegaxs: Fair enough, but hopefully at that stage the price is below the dealers price so you can lowball them even further

            • @pegaxs:

              good luck getting that price for it

              Lowballers actually always use this term to lowball people. I had couple of items sold and lowballers thought they know better. Many sellers actually know the price they can expect to sell and know the par value of the item. It does not require lowballers to tell if they can sell or not.

        • +2

          Yep, Gumtree has just as many dodgy sellers as it has dodgy buyers. Selling things online used to be a way to get some spare cash for unwanted items. Now it's a place where people are trying to make money on items they bought years ago, or at least break even on something that has lost most of its value.

        • +1

          I remember the days of waiting for the truck to deliver the trading post to the agency and opening it up to find the best deals on whatever and calling people at 4.30am. Fun times.

    • Sometimes it best just to cut to the bone and ask the buyer what the point is that they are making or just offer a small discount

      • ask the buyer what the point is that they are making or just offer a small discount


        Negotiating a Price 101: As the seller, never offer the discount, always wait to be asked. This is why the salespeople at the car stealerships always ask… "where are you at, what's your price, what would get you to buy this car today?" and the they work you up from there.

  • +7

    Not another one of these threads.

    1. You bought the car and have been happy with it for a long time. It was a used car so it’s not like they switched a 13 in place of a 14 to dupe you. You got the car you wanted.
    2. The dealer screwed up, but so did you not doing due diligence and not knowing what you were buying. You didn’t check it was as described.
    3. You can’t do anything now, it’s too late.
    • +5

      I agree. It would be a lot different if OP paid for the car sight unseen and it was delivered to them on a flat bed. Possibly a bait and switch. But if OP went in, looked at the car, test drive the car and purchased the car, they were obviously happy with it for the time they owned it.

      But then again, this forum has turned into a “wHeRe’Z mAh CoMpEnSaTiOnZ??” Whinge-fest.

    • +6

      Everyone in Australia has turned into a "Not my fault, its someone elses fault" whinger

      • +6

        I blame the internet. Too many forums with keyboard whiners agreeing with the likes of the OP.

    • So if you bought a product labelled "made in Australia" and subsequently found out it was made overseas, would that be ok just because you've been using the product?
      Would you expect a chorus of people saying "why didn't you go and check the country of origin yourself"

      This reminds me of the VW Saga. "We lied and cheated on our emissions testing but you guys are still driving our cars so stuck it up"
      Was that also ok, and the consumers fault?

      • Completely different situations.

        VW just got a massive fine, as they should have. Others have been fined for misleading the consumer but I’d be surprised if anything happened after 3years unless it was an ongoing thing for those 3 yard or lots of people affected.

        Buying a USED car with features so similar it’s hard to tell from one year to the next? Possibly a scam by the dealer but equally likely it was a screw up from the person typing the ad or entering the vehicle into the system.

        • Yeah I'm not saying it was a deliberate scam, and was very likely a clerical error. OP still did not get the product they paid for.
          It's just that so many people are saying "well you drove and were happy with the car so too bad" which I strongly disagree with

          • +1

            @AndrewCh: But they did get the product they paid for. They tested the car, chose the car and got it.

            • +1

              @Euphemistic: The car was labelled as a my14 model. It was not.

              If I bought "free range eggs" and subsequently found out they were cage farmed, I would not expect a response of "well you ate them so too bad" or "why didn't you check yourself whether they were free range rather than rely on the packaging" which seems to be the prevalent response here

              • @AndrewCh: The car was not labelled as a MY14. It was advertised as such.