Car buyers are being warned to do a background check on their car dealer before buying their next vehicle, after one woman later discovered 14 decisions against the trader she bought from.
Rebecca Mildren purchased a Mazda Axela from Spot One in Penrose, Auckland, last year.
However just a month later she rejected the vehicle, after discovering a dangerous fault that forced her off the road.
"It's scary. It did cause panic attacks. To the point where you need to pull over because you don't feel like you're in control," she said.
The cause of concern was a bright, reflective glare off her dashboard.
Ms Mildren says she was told when buying the car that the shine on the worn dashboard was a "pre-purchase wax coating".
It was only after she started driving the car, that she realised the dashboard was suffering a well-known fault that causes a reflective glare that can distract the driver and impair visibility of the road.
"It causes an obstruction of my vision basically right where I'm trying to see," she said.
The fault has affected around 300,000 Mazda cars in the United States, but the dealer Ms Mildren purchased the car from, Paul Tweedie, wouldn't refund her - so she took a case to the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal.
Ms Mildren won her case against Spot One and Mr Tweedie, but a month after the decision she was still waiting for her money.
"I'm exhausted. Nobody should have to fight this hard for their rights."
Mr Tweedie had told Ms Mildren she was unlikely to see her money as the company was going into liquidation. But it didn't and Ms Mildren instead approached Fair Go.
The company wouldn't comment to Fair Go, but did refund Ms Mildren.
Mr Tweedie also wouldn't communicate with Fair Go about collecting the vehicle - so Fair Go had it delivered back to the Spot One car yard.
Ms Mildren says she was in "disbelief" to discover Mr Tweedie had appeared in front of the Motor Vehicle Tribunal on 19 different occasions, and ordered to refund or repair in 14 of those cases.
"I had no idea that you can search the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal's Decisions page. Should I have searched that I would have found multiple decisions," she said.
Any dealer who sells more than six vehicles a year should be registered to the Motor Vehicle Trader Register.
Mr Tweedie is registered, and the Register's Team Leader of Compliance and Inspection, Phil Sorrell, says consumers should use the website to make sure they know the dealer they're talking to is who they say they are.
"It's so the consumer can actually identify who they're contracting with, and then they can check whatever information they have at the time of negotiating the sale against the information held on the register.
"That will allow them to go back to that person with confidence," he said.