KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — The proposal to establish a dedicated ombudsman scheme for the country’s automotive industry, aimed at resolving disputes between consumers and automotive companies, will be among the agendas discussed in the study on the introduction of a Lemon Law, said Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali.

He said the ministry is developing alternative dispute resolution as one of the key features of the ombudsman scheme, intended for immediate improvement and as a temporary measure.

“This is implemented through the establishment of a special team at the ministry level, which serves as facilitators for user complaints concerning motor vehicles in Malaysia, effective from June 1, 2024.

“The method used is a tripartite negotiation between the ministry, car buyers, and distributors or manufacturers. This special negotiation platform aims to find a fair and balanced solution for all parties,” he said in a special chamber session in Parliament yesterday.

He said this in response to a question from Syahredzan Johan (PH-Bangi) regarding the proposed establishment of an ombudsman in Malaysia to ensure a more holistic and effective implementation of the Lemon Law.

Armizan said this approach could reduce both the cost and duration of settlements, offering an alternative to the court process and other legal procedures.

“We will gather feedback from the industry on their readiness to participate in the special ombudsman scheme,” he said.

He also said that the ministry is aware of issues and cases relating to consumers’ rights to seek redress from suppliers or manufacturers if supplied goods fail to meet guarantee standards, as well as other relevant legislation.

“This includes the Contract Act 1950, the Sale of Goods Act 1957 and the Hire Purchase Act 1967. Therefore, the study will encompass all aspects of these legal frameworks,” he said.

Armizan said the study, which started last June, is expected to be completed by the end of September.

The findings will serve as the foundation for policy decisions at the ministry level, guiding the development of a comprehensive legal framework that meets current demands.“This includes assessing whether we should improve the existing legislation, namely the Consumer Protection Act 1999 (Act 599), or introduce a new law,” he said. — Bernama

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