Enforcement action put on hold

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 05 Aug 2003

PENANG: Enforcement action against motor workshop owners for failing to issue quotations for repair charges to vehicle owners involved in road accidents has been put on hold. 

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry parliamentary secretary Wong Kam Hoong said this was to enable the workshop owners, insurance companies and vehicle owners to draw up an amicable agreement on the matter. 

Wong said they decided on this after receiving a complaint from the Penang Motor Vehicles Workshop Owners Association that some of them were compounded for releasing the estimated repair cost to the insurance companies instead of the vehicle owners.  

Under the subrogate clause in insurance policy, Wong added that the insurance companies had the power to negotiate with the workshop owners on the repair charges. 

“As such, problems arise when the workshop owners release the quotation to the insurance companies instead of to the vehicle owners,” he told a press conference after a dialogue session with some association members yesterday. 

RULE BOOK: Wong, right, and Fahmi showing the booklet on Consumer Protection Act (Workshop Regulations) 2002 after a dialogue session Monday.

Also present was state enforcement unit chief Fahmi Kassim. 

Under the Consumer Protection Act (Workshop Regulations) 2002, which came into force in July last year, workshop owners are compelled to give estimated repair charges for the vehicle owners' consent before starting on the repair works. 

Wong said the Ministry would arrange a meeting with the insurance companies and workshop owners to overcome the grey area in the enforcement of the regulations. 

“We want to have a solution that also considers the vehicle owners' interest,” he said, adding that from year 2000 to July this year, 312 cases have been filed at the Consumer Claims Tribunal against workshop owners. 

Association chairman Lim Chuan said the enforcement officers fined two of their members for not giving the estimated charges to the car owners involved in road accidents. 

I hope the authorities would expedite the meeting to resolve the matter soon,'' he said.  

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