Car dealers asked to get written statement from clients

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Automobile distributors in Qatar have to obtain a signed statement from their customers saying that they are aware of the repairs done to the vehicles they are buying, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) said.

The Ministry said the new circular sent to all car dealers in the country stemmed from its keenness to ensure that all agents and showrooms complied with Law No. (8) of 2008 on consumer protection. Article No. (7) of the law makes it mandatory for the supplier of any commodity to give all the related information the buyer.

There will be legal consequences for not reporting to the consumer any repair, including repainting that the vehicle has undergone, the ministry said. The customer should also sign the document indicating that he has accepted the “modifications” made to the car before he buys it.

“Compliance by the agents will help avoid complaints from consumers and consequent legal action,” the MEC said .

The guidance from the MEC comes in the wake of several cases of “commercial fraud” detected by the Consumer Protection Department, Qatar News Agency said. Such cases related to cars sold without informing buyers about major or minor repairs done or repainted to hide dents and scratches, QNA added.

Earlier, the ministry had issued a circular asking vehicle distributors to provide customers with all relevant information about the cars they purchase.

The circular said dealers must provide customers with a dated invoice that includes the price, model, make of the vehicle and whether it is new or used.

Besides, they must clearly inform customers about apparent or other defects in the vehicle and whether the car has been involved in any accident or sustained any damage. The MEC had stressed that customers should be fully aware of the status of the vehicles they buy.

“In case of non-disclosure of such key information, the seller is bound by the law to compensate the buyer financially or repair the damage,” the circular had said. The rule is applicable to agents who sell both new and used cars.

The MEC circular said the sale document shall include any privilege, advantage, benefit or compensation the dealer has provided to the customer for buying the vehicle ‘as is’. “The two parties have to clearly mention their agreement on this.”

Dealers have to keep a copy of the statement signed by the customer in the file and present it as evidence when needed. MEC said that those who violate such regulations would be subject to various penalties according to Law No 8 of 2008 on consumer protection, including administrative closure of their showrooms and offices.

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Article No 12 of the same law says that the supplier shall include in the contract a commitment to repair, maintain and provide after-sales service to the goods sold.

Source : Gulf Times

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