Malaysian consumers have long been in need of a “Lemon Law” to protect consumers, especially used car buyers, and the government is finally mulling on introducing one as dialogue with industry players are well underway.

According to Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, the first 8 months of this year has seen 1,126 cases filed with the Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia involving new and used cars with claims totalling RM 3.68 million.

Thus far, 1,034 cases have been resolved with the remaining 92 still pending an outcome.

The alarming number of cases has convinced the government to consider a similar consumer protection legislation to the “Lemon Law.” Currently, the principal law for consumer protection is via the Consumer Protection Act 1999.

A “Lemon Law” is a set of regulations that attempt to protect the consumer in the event of purchasing a new or used vehicle that is faulty or don’t meet their purported quality or usefulness. Generally differing by each country, the basis of the law requires the manufacturer to buy back or replace the vehicle or product if the fault cannot be rectified after a reasonable number of attempts.

Globally, most developed markets have at the very least introduced recall laws for vehicles that have been identified to be fitted with defective components. This is slightly different from the proposed “Lemon Law” but is just as critical for cases such as the Takata airbag scandal.

“At the ministerial level, we have discussed the matter and have received input from the industry players,” said Alexander following the launch of the AutoGen Plus extended warranty programme for used cars in Kuala Lumpur today.

Present at the launch was the president of the Federation of Motor and Credit Companies Associations of Malaysia, Datuk Tony Khor. He championed the introduction of the “Lemon Law” as well, citing the added protection for consumers in general.

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