A unified form for car purchase contracts proposed by the Ministry of Economy to protect consumer rights will be effective early next year after it was deferred from last October 1.
Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of the consumer protection department in the Ministry of Economy, said: "The new unified form will be obligatory [as] of January 2012 and car dealers violating the new rule will be fined according to Federal Law No 24 for the year 2006 for consumer protection."
The delay in the implementation was due to the effort to publish a guide for consumers. The guide will be available at bookshops within days.
The new contract's main purpose is to unify fair treatment and clarity to consumers under the consumer protection law covering the relationship between car dealers and their customers. For example, it seeks to ensure after-sales service including availability of spare parts for at least five years from the purchase date and warrantee on spare parts for at least six months against manufacturing defects.
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The customer contract consists of documents related to the customer purchase process that includes the invoice, delivery list and acknowledgment, warranty booklet and any related documents to outline the contract between the dealer and the customer.
Al Nuaimi said the new contract will help energise the automobile sector and make buying and selling activity more transparent for the sake of the consumers.
Senior representatives of automobile dealerships welcomed the contract saying that it will help reorganise the relationship between them and consumers.
Kevin Jones, senior general manager of after-sales at Al-Futtaim Motors, told Gulf News earlier that the service agreements can vary among different dealers in terms of validity and coverage. In such cases the warranty applies according to contract conditions as a mutual agreement between sellers and buyers.
Some private car mech-anics said that the new contract will affect their business unless they team up with a used car agent.
Ahmad Ali, an engineer, told Gulf News that he is now happy as he feels safe from fraud since the dealers have to provide spare parts for five years and they will issue a warrantee for spare parts for six months against any defects.