The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took Honda Motor Co’s (7267.T) local unit to court on Wednesday, alleging that the Japanese manufacturer misled its consumers by falsely claiming that two of its stores had stopped servicing Honda vehicles.
According to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), Honda Australia informed clients of Brighton Automotive (Astoria) in Victoria and Tynan Motors in New South Wales that the dealerships would no longer service Honda vehicles between January and June last year.
“The ACCC alleges that Honda advised Astoria and Tynan customers that these businesses had closed through emails, text messages, and phone conversations, and directed customers to contact a Honda dealership or Honda Service Centre to book their next service,” the watchdog said.
However, despite discontinuing agreements with Honda Australia in January 2021, following a restructure of the carmaker’s unit in May 2019, the dealerships continued to service vehicles, including Honda cars, and operate independently, according to the ACCC.
Honda Australia was accused by the regulator of causing “damage” to Astoria and Tynan’s businesses by falsely saying they had closed or would close, resulting in fewer customer footfall, and sought a penalty in court.
Honda Australia declined to comment on the allegations while it reviewed the file but told Reuters in an email that it was cooperating with the ACCC’s probe.