Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Mar 23, 2023

Hong Kong car owners can now service vehicles at workshops of their choice

Hong Kong car owners can now service vehicles at workshops of their choice

City’s competition watchdog accepts distributors’ commitments to remove terms that effectively force customers to patronise designated centres.

Car owners in Hong Kong are now free to choose where to service their vehicles without fear of losing their warranties, after major car distributors made a policy U-turn in the face of looming legal proceedings by the city’s competition watchdog.

The Competition Commission on Monday said it accepted the commitments made by seven car distributors to remove warranty terms and conditions that effectively forced customers to carry out maintenance and repair services at designated centres.

The commitments, which take effect immediately, came after a commission probe found that the warranty restrictions made it difficult for independent workshops to compete with service centres designated by car distributors. It led to car owners having limited choices when it came to servicing their vehicles, and possibly pushed up prices for maintenance and repair works.

Ringo Lee Yiu-pui, president of the Hong Kong Automobile Association, said the group welcomed the news, which was “long overdue”.

“In the past, many car owners would not dare to go to roadside garages to have their vehicles serviced, even for lubrication services or replacement of air or oil filters, because of the risk that distributors could void the warranty,” Lee said.

Ringo Lee, president of the Hong Kong Automobile Association, says the move was “long overdue”.

Lee said there were more than 2,500 independent car workshops in the city. “They need to compete among themselves and their charges are usually some 40 per cent to 50 per cent lower than those of authorised repair centres,” he said.

The 17 car brands covered by the commitments are: Citroen, distributed by Cartel Motors; Honda and Nissan by Dah Chong Hong; Jaguar, Land Rover, Toyota and Lexus by Inchcape International; KIA, Volkswagen and Audi by Kam Lun Motor Group; Subaru by Motor Image (HK); BMW, MINI, Mitsubishi and Suzuki by Sime Darby Motor Group (HK); and Mazda and Ford by Vang Iek Holdings.

The distributors will amend their warranty documents and notify existing customers of the changes within 90 days.

Under the Competition Ordinance, the commission can seek to address its concerns about a possible violation of competition rules through remedies such as accepting commitments. On acceptance of the commitments, the commission will stop its investigation or proceedings going before the Competition Tribunal.

But the commission can withdraw its acceptance of commitments if it finds that the commitments are not honoured.

Rasul Butt, the commission’s CEO, said: “We consider accepting commitments to be an appropriate enforcement outcome for the case, as it offers an effective, speedy and proportionate resolution addressing the commission’s concerns in a targeted manner.

“Car owners can [now] enjoy the immediate benefit of being able to choose to take their vehicles to independent car repair workshops … without the risk of having their warranty voided on the basis that their car was not serviced or repaired at an authorised repair centre.

“This will in turn facilitate a level-playing field for the independent workshops to compete with authorised repair centres, which may ultimately lead to lower prices for maintenance and repair services for car owners.”


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Goldman Sachs cuts outlook for European bank debt over Credit Suisse crisis
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
The BBC problem about China
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Announcing GPT-4
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
'No relation to the American SVB': India's SVC Bank acts to calm depositors amid brand name confusion.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
Saudi Arabia has announced a major breakthrough in diplomacy with Iran after two years of intense talks
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
A primitive judge in Australia sparked outrage when he told a breastfeeding woman to leave his courtroom for being “a distraction"
Barcelona is feeling the heat as they face corruption charges over payments to former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Old clip of Bill Gates saying Ukraine is a big, fat, corrupt sinkhole is going viral
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
2 universities in Hong Kong embrace use of ChatGPT, other AI tools
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
Missing Chinese banker was working to set up Singapore family office
Hong Kong ditches Covid mask mandate after 945 days
Xi Jinping and His Wife Meet with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk
How do stolen goods end up on Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace?
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
When it comes to Tesla vs Lamborghini, an empty vessel makes more noise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
North Korea test-fires an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan west of Hokkaido
US bombed Nord Stream gas pipelines, claims investigative journalist Seymour Hersh