Will they Lift Car Warranty Restrictions in Malaysia?

Singapore has done it and now the Malaysian Automotive Industry Association (MAIA) is urging the government in Kuala Lumpur to follow suit. From 2018, Singaporean car owners will be free to have their car serviced in a workshop of their choice without worrying about voiding their warranty, in a move that is all about free trade and the removal of restrictive practices; well, at least according to the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS), that is. It is not just Singapore that has lifted this restriction; the European Commission started the ball rolling back in 2003 when it passed a law allowing owners to have their car serviced where they chose.

Presently, in a lot of countries, owners may only service their car at authorised workshops, which sort of limits your choice to a few large and glitzy workshops, often at prices that are way higher than you would expect if there was true competition in the sector. Despite the higher prices, you went along with the programme for fear of losing your warranty and thus potentially become liable for some really expensive repair job.

Independent garages and workshops have long cried foul over the need to service a new car at just the authorised dealer, claiming that this was a restrictive practice that effectively froze them out of the market. Now, the CCS in Singapore agrees and Singapore will be the first country in the ASEAN region to allow for cars under warranty to be serviced by independent workshops, without the warranty being voided, unless the authorised dealer can prove that any damage or defect was caused by the independent dealer.

The upshot for motorists in Singapore is that this should mean that servicing their car becomes more affordable and possibly more convenient, as competition kicks in and prices fall. It is just this effect that the MAIA is trying to convince the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) to consider. Of course, many of the association’s members are the owners of workshops that cater to the secondary market, and who would have been noticing an ever dwindling amount of available business as the extended warranties that come with new cars these days stop car owners from going anywhere accept the authorised dealers.

Let us see if Malaysia will welcome increased competition in the car sector.


Image source: via Says.com

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