Consumer Policy Research Centre

Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) is an independent, not-for-profit consumer think-tank that conducts research and advocates for policy change to improve the lives of consumers.


Explore and map the experience consumers face when seeking redress for a lemon car

To support CPRC in building a case for change in the Victorian lemon car redress system, Conduct was engaged to unpack the difficulties consumers face in seeking redress for a lemon car, and visualise the unreasonable burden on consumers to navigate and negotiate through a complex complaints process.

Challenges faced by consumers

Under Australian Consumer Law consumer guarantees, consumers have a right to a durable, safe, and fit-for-purpose purchase that is free from major and minor failures. However, consumers who have purchased a car that they later discover to be defective or faulty (in other words, a lemon car) often cannot enforce these rights, as the process is costly, time-consuming, and inaccessible. This can not only negatively impact their economic and social participation but also their overall wellbeing.

This is a significant and widespread problem, with the Productivity Commission estimating that motor vehicle sales are the top consumer guarantee complaint received across state and territory regulators.

Mapping out the redress process from start to finish

We immersed ourselves in the problem space through conducting qualitative interviews with consumers with lived experience, as well as consultation with stakeholders across CPRC and a range of community legal centres.

In order to distil our insights, we developed an end-to-end map of the current lemon cars redress process that spanned eight key phases, overlaying this with research insights. This map was then iteratively updated through broad stakeholder validation.

Finally, we designed and facilitated a workshop which enabled stakeholders to define and align on the key pain points to be addressed at each stage of the current state process, ideate potential solutions, and define a vision for the future, illustrated through a storyboard of a speculative consumer journey.

"I invite everyone to dive into the 7 A4 page long process map. It’s remarkable and really says it all in diagram form, the nature of the problem that we urgently need to reform." - Quote from launch event Stephanie Tonkin CEO, Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC)

Our impact

Conduct acted as a key facilitator for CPRC and various community legal centres (CALC, WEstjustice, and the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service) in the definition of the problem and opportunity space for lemon car redress in Victoria, demonstrating the value of a qualitative, human-centred design approach to complex systematic policy challenges.

We also provided guidance and expertise in the selection of the most appropriate type of output for CPRC’s needs, resulting in the development of the first end-to-end representation of the lemon cars complaints and redress process in Victoria that illustrates the unreasonable burden that the current system places upon consumers.

This process map acts as a core framework in a major report that has been published by CPRC, ‘Detours and roadblocks: The consumer experience of faulty cars in Victoria. The report presents the research that has been undertaken to understand the impact of lemon cars on people’s lives and the need for a stronger lemon car redress system in Victoria, and puts forward a plan to make it easier and safer for consumers to buy cars with confidence.

If successful, any Victorian who finds themselves with a lemon car in the future will benefit from a more accessible, fair, and effective process that enables them to get the fix that they’re owed sooner.

"The Conduct team took on a complex brief and completely delivered! They worked closely with us to develop options to understand the problem and figure out how best to visually show the issue.

The workshop got the absolute best out of our experts, helping us to test a range of ideas to a very complex problem."
Erin Turner CEO, CPRC


Idea, opportunity or problem to solve?

Contact us


3/29 Cromwell St,
Collingwood VIC 3066
1300 368 277


55 Brisbane Street,
Surry Hills NSW 2010
1300 368 277