Motor Vehicles: The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA): The Consumers rights to safe, good quality goods. Section 55: Section 55(3).

Motor Vehicles: The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA): The Consumers rights to safe, good quality goods. Section 55: Section 55(3).

In our last blog we looked at Sections 55 (1) and (2); and in particular how they relate to and affect the purchase of damaged or defective vehicles.

Today we look at section 55(3).

Section 55 (3) reads as follows:

“In addition to the right set out in subsection (2) (a) ( goods must be suitable for their intended purpose), if a consumer has specifically informed the supplier of the particular purpose for which the consumer wishes to acquire any goods, or the use to which the consumer intends to apply those goods, and the supplier:- (a) ordinarily offers to supply such goods; or (b) acts in a manner consistent with being knowledgeable about the use of the goods; the consumer has the right to expect that the goods are reasonably suitable for the specific purpose that the consumer had indicated.”

What does this mean?

A consumer has the right to receive goods that are reasonably suitable for the purposes for which they are generally intended. If therefore you by an expensive mountain bike; you buy it with the right that it is reasonably suitable for mountain biking. If while mountain biking it breaks or becomes intrinsically damaged you have the right to return it to the dealer for either a repair, or a refund or a replacement bike. Exactly the same principle would apply if you bought an expensive 4×4 motor vehicle from a dealership and wanted to use it off road and it too break, got damaged or developed a defect while you were using it off road or even on road; the same rules would apply.

Section 55 (3) takes it a step further. It states that in addition to this right; if when buying the mountain bike or the 4×4 you inform the supplier that you are buying it for racing purposes off road or in the case of the 4×4 to take it on the beaches of Mozambique on holiday; and having told the supplier of your plans and the supplier proceeds with the sale to you or even acts in a manner to suggest that the bike or 4×4 is fit for that specific intended purpose; then the consumer has the right to expect that the item he has just purchased from the supplier is indeed fit for that suggested intended purpose and will be covered by the CPA in those circumstances if the item breaks, is damaged of becomes defective doing exactly what you said you intended doing with the item.

This is a strong extention to the basic right as set out in section 55 (2) (a).

In summary for example; if you buy a vehicle from a supplier; you, as a consumer have the RIGHT to receive that VEHICLE in a condition that is firstly “reasonably suitable for the purpose it is generally intended” ie to drive it as one would drive a similar vehicle, under normal conditions, and bearing in mind the particular facts of each case.

Secondly; if you discuss with the supplier using it for a specific purpose and the supplier expressly or by implication indicates that the vehicle is fit for that purpose then you have the protection of the CPA in the vent that is does not pass muster in your using it for that purpose.

This is a powerful RIGHT in the favour of the consumer for the purchase of any item from a supplier.

It must be emphasised again that despite the strong wording of this subsection of the CPA; the factual and especially the legal interpretation of any one consumer situation vis a vis a supplier should always be referred to experts for both advice and also to provide the necessary expert legal services that you require; especially when you are dealing with a large sum of money.

You would therefore be strongly advised to contact us, to advise you on these queries or any intervention process you want to initiate; and not to simply attempt to do so on your own. Once again; we must stress that it is always advisable for you, as a consumer, to seek proper, professional legal advice and legal services when dealing with these complex factual and legal issues.

Again; If you have recently experienced difficulties with the purchasing of any goods from a supplier or wish to query their quality or compliance with the CPA; contact The Legal Advice Office at or write to one of our email addresses; either or

In our next blog we will look at section 55(4).

Should you wish to comment on this or any other legal topic; just send us an e-mail; and we will respond within 48 hours.

Thank you.

The Legal Advice Office Team.