SATTV: Reading and re-reading your post.

I believe that you are absolutely covered by the CGA, irrespective of the alternator being reconditioned or brand new ( of it was ex wrecker it might be a different story if they advised you )

To recondition a car alternator is not hard, basically two bearings, slip ring, two brushes, rectifier pack and regulator will recondition most alternators back to as good as new, very rarely a bearing will collapse and there is damage to the rotor and or  stator windings, in which case the alternator is a write off.

I believe the garage / dealer should do this at no charge, from my experience they will do their best to to get you to pay for the labour.
You need to gently push back.

If that does not work you have three options.

1) take in the paperwork for the disputes tribunal, fill the paperwork out in front of the service manager, ask questions like what is the correct postal address, who is the director of the company etc. this will get their attention and will now know you mean business and do the job.

2) Pay the $250 and then file a claim in the disputes tribunal.

3) Take the car elsewhere, preferably to a ford dealer pay to have the alternator replaced and then take the original to the disputes tribunal.

Depending on the model of the Ford Ka, some of them were built by Kia, a Kia dealer may be able to help you.

Just out of interest, have you been advised of what has failed on the re-conditioned alternator?

Good luck, be firm but fair with them, dont go in like a bull at a gate, that will just get their hackles up and will go on the defensive straight away.

John



As for #3:  Garage in this case is a Ford dealership.
Got a call just few minutes ago and car is going to be ready tomorrow.

I'll keep you posted on what they try to do with costs.
Got "We got refund from alternator guys and found an aftermarket replacement but it was $500" talk, kind of implementing that they want to hit me with the price difference between the broken alternator they provided originally and the more expensive replacement they are getting in now.