The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has received written consent from 22 automobile distributors who have agreed to comply with a nine-clause initiative to ease warranty terms in accordance with the provisions of Law Number 19 of 2006.
A comprehensive study of warranty booklets by the ministry had revealed the use of restrictive practices or ambiguous expressions that might deny warranty coverage to vehicle owners who choose to conduct maintenance or repair works at a third-party workshop.
Following this, the Competition Protection and Anti-monopoly Committee at the ministry concluded that the terms unlawfully denied customers the right to carry out maintenance works and repairs at the workshop of their choice.
Based on these conclusions, car dealers were notified to amend the terms and allow customers to freely choose where to conduct maintenance works without revoking warranties.
Local car distributors have agreed to the following nine clauses:
1) Dealers shall eliminate restrictive clauses and rephrase ambiguous expressions that might deny warranty coverage to vehicle owners who choose to conduct maintenance or repair works at a third-party workshop.
2) Dealers shall introduce the necessary amendments to the warranty terms and shall submit the revised terms to the Competition Protection Department for review.
3) Distributors shall not restrict warranty coverage to periodic maintenance works or repairs at the dealer’s workshop provided that customers retain a receipt indicating that maintenance or repair works were carried out on time as instructed by the manufacturer.
4) Car dealers shall allow vehicle owners to use materials such as (oil, filters) or other spare parts of the same specifications as original parts, provided that they are accredited by the manufacturer.
5) Warranty coverage will be void only on spare parts that do not meet the technical requirements and dealers shall not revoke warranty coverage on other parts.
6) In the event of damage to one or more parts of the vehicle as a result of maintenance works in violation of the technical requirements, car dealers shall be responsible to submit proof of the violation.
7) Car dealers shall revise all warranty booklets of previously sold cars in accordance with the new terms adopted by the Competition Protection Department and obtain approval for their replacement. The old booklets can be maintained if car dealers can ensure the implementation of the new terms in a clear manner.
8) Car dealers shall refrain in the future from implementing any system that incorporates the cost of maintenance and repairs into the sale price of the vehicle with the exception of promotional offers approved by competent authorities.
9) Car dealers shall refrain from introducing any amendments to warranty booklets without the prior consent of the Competition Protection Department.
The MEC asserted that the new measures will provide incentives for car dealers to improve their performance, boost their competitiveness and improve the quality of services provided at their workshops.
On the other hand, the ministry has urged consumers to carefully choose where to carry out maintenance and repairs as well as to keep a receipt outlining the jobs and date of maintenance as instructed by the manufacturer should they choose to carry out the work at third-party workshops.
The ministry has also urged consumers to examine warranty booklets to ensure the compliance of car dealers with the stipulated warranty terms and inform the ministry of any manipulation of warranty terms and violations through the following channels: Hotline: 16001, e-mail: [email protected], Twitter @ MEC_Qatar
The Ministry’s application on mobile phones: MEC_Qatar
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