For the record, there really is a global shortage of semi-conductors; a shortage that has already seen some big car-makers trim production and even close some plants. As the electric car phenomenon grows, and the average conventional car has anything up to 100 micro-processors, the shortage will only become more critical, so the next few months will be very interesting.
However, I spoke to Mitsubishi Australia about this and it seems your dealer might not be telling you everything. For a start, to even offer you an ASX LS without the safety gear it comes standard with is, according to head office, an impossibility. Why? Because Mitsubishi claims it has never built such a car. The spokesperson I talked to said that, had the correct semi-conductor (or any other part) not been available for that car in that specification, the car would not have been built. Simple as that. I’m not sure what Mitsubishi dealers are saying, but that’s head office’s view.
Which brings us to the question of your contract. Put simply, if the vehicle you’re being offered does not match the vehicle as described in the contract of sale, then you can call the deal off with no ramifications. And since this is major safety gear we’re talking about being AWOL, the car on offer most certainly does not match what you signed up for. So you can stop worrying on that front.
Then we move on to what the dealer is really trying to sell you. There’s a feeling within Mitsubishi that the dealer probably has stocks of a particular variant of the ASX, but one which doesn’t have the LS model’s standard safety kit. And that’s what they’re trying to unload on to you. So don’t have it.
If you go through with the deal, you’ll inevitably be buying a car that doesn’t live up to the safety levels you wanted when you originally ordered the LS model. It will be worth less as a trade-in in a few years, too, as used-car buyers (like everybody else) are increasingly interested in safety. As it stands, being offered a $300 discount on a car that doesn’t exist smells very odd to me. I’d be talking to Mitsubishi Australia’s customer service department and explaining your case. Sometimes you need to go to a higher court than the dealership itself.