Workshops must now display mechanics’ qualification or risk facing fine, jail time

THE authorities will now take action against auto repair workshop operators who fail to display the names and certification of their mechanics following the end of the one-year grace period.

According to Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry enforcement director-general Datuk Azman Adam, workshop operators have been given sufficient time to comply with this ruling.

In a report by The Star, Azman said that the penalty for not complying, under the Consumer Protection Act 1999 (Act 599) is a RM100,000 fine for companies and a RM50,000 fine for individuals, or a three-year jail term, if found guilty.

“For now, the workshops inspected by the ministry’s enforcement unit will be advised to comply with the rule. We will monitor this from time to time. Failure to comply will result in a penalty,” Azman was reported as saying by the English daily.

The Consumer Protection (Workshops Information Disclosure) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 was gazetted on June 2022 with enforcement set to begin on July 1 the same year.

However, following a series of engagements with industry players, it was postponed for a year to July 1, 2023 to allow those affected to prepare for the changes.

The move is said to encourage workshop owners to either hire qualified mechanics or help their mechanics to obtain proper qualifications.

Consumers will also benefit in terms of transparency as they will be able to ensure the services obtained from workshops are in line with the prices.

“[The new regulation] not only encourages workshops to hire or upskill their mechanics, but also ensures consumers have access to qualified mechanics. Indirectly, this increases the quality of services provided alongside boosting business productivity,” Azman explained.

(Pic credit: myTukar)

In addition to displaying the names and qualifications of the mechanics employed, workshop operators must clearly state whether the spare parts offered are new, used or restored.

Workshop operators must further provide a written document on whether there is any guarantee for spare parts used, as well as state whether there is a guarantee for the repair jobs carried out by the workshop.

Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) chairman Prof Dr Wong Shaw Voon told The Star the move ensures accountability from workshops.

“If the workshop doesn’t do a proper job, at least there will be a mechanism and channel for people to take action. It’s also important for a proper job to be done to avoid anything tragic from happening, which can result in loss of property or life,” he pointed out.

Wong said in the past, people may have had to depend on referrals to know which mechanics were capable of the repairs or jobs needed regardless whether they had the certification or not.

“They would be worried about how safe their vehicles were in terms of maintenance and preparedness following work done on them,” he added.

Having certified and qualified mechanics inspires confidence among vehicle owners and assures them of the competency of those working on their vehicles.”

Wong went on to noted that the need for workshops to inform customers on the type of spare parts used is also critical.

“Whatever spare part is put in must be recorded. If it is used, they must be charged accordingly and not as a new item. It’s not that a used spare part cannot be used, but it’s not fair for consumers to pay for it as if it were brand new,” he said. – Aug 24, 2023


Main pic credit: Speedhunters

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