Lemon Law in Malaysia: ombudsman proposed for vehicle complaint disputes

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Malaysian drivers facing problems with their new vehicles may soon have an easier path to resolution. The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) is exploring the establishment of a special ombudsman to handle disputes between car buyers and manufacturers or distributors.

This move comes alongside the ongoing development of Malaysia's lemon law, which is expected to be introduced in 2025.

What is a Lemon Law?

A lemon law is a legislation that protects car buyers from vehicles with substantial defects that cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts. These defects can be mechanical, electrical, or safety-related.

Ombudsman as an Interim Solution

While the lemon law is still under development, KPDN is proposing the ombudsman as an interim measure. This ombudsman would act as a neutral third party to facilitate "tripartite negotiations" between the consumer, car manufacturer/distributor, and the ministry. The goal is to find a fair and balanced solution for all parties involved.

Benefits of an Ombudsman

An ombudsman can offer several advantages:

  • Faster Resolution:  Compared to lengthy court battles, an ombudsman can provide a quicker resolution to disputes.
  • Lower Costs:  Consumers won't have to shoulder the high legal fees associated with court cases.
  • Fairness and Transparency:  The ombudsman can ensure a fair and transparent process for both consumers and car companies.

The Road Ahead

The establishment of an ombudsman and the introduction of a lemon law are positive steps towards protecting Malaysian consumers' rights in the automotive industry.

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