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Warranty regulation to protect new car buyers

By Han Tianyang (China Daily)

15:06, January 30, 2012

BEIJING - For the first time, new car buyers in China could have the right to return a faulty car and ask for a replacement or refund.

The protection is part of a new warranty regulation first proposed last September by the General Administration of Quality Supervision.

The latest draft of the regulation was released on Jan 16 to solicit further public opinion following a hearing in October that included representatives of manufacturers and consumers.

The recent draft was amended to follow suggestions made at the hearing last fall.

If the most recent version is adopted, customers will be eligible for replacement of faulty cars in the first two years or 50,000 km of ownership if attempts to repair serious flaws are not successful - a longer period than the previous draft's two-year, 40,000-km standard.

It also requires free repairs in the first three years or 60,000 kilometers of ownership.

The draft also extends the timeframe for car buyers to return a failed vehicle - up from the 30 days in the previous version to 60 days or 3,000 km - if there are serious quality problems such as severe cracking in the car body, non-functioning brakes or steering and oil leaks.

If the engine and transmission have quality defects, customers also have the right to free replacement within the same period, it says.

The regulation also states that if serious safety problems are not solved within the 2-year, 50,000-km warranty period after two repairs, consumers have the right to return the vehicle and demand a replacement or refund.

They are also eligible for a replacement if repair work takes longer than 35 days or the car is in the shop five times for the same quality problem, it says.

In addition, the new draft adds a penalty clause that says violators could face a fine of up to 30,000 yuan.

At the October hearing representatives of consumers and auto companies agreed that a third-party agency is needed to inspect claims to determine whether car quality or operator error caused the problem.

The new draft incorporates the suggestion. The administration said it will organize an expert panel to mediate disputes if needed.

Under the current system, it is impossible in practice for customers to demand a replacement once they buy a car because dealers and manufacturers often pass the problem back and forth.

The new draft says car sellers are responsible for free repairs, replacement and returns, but they in turn have the right to seek remedy from manufacturers.

The revised draft will solicit public opinion until Feb 10, with a final regulation expected within the year, according to the national quality watchdog.

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Canada at 2012-01-3170.36.49.*
We can only dream about such regulations here.
  

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