Dubai: In a major move regarding the warranty of vehicles by car dealers in the UAE, Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection at the Ministry of Economy has recommended that the warranty of vehicles shouldn’t be affected irrespective of where the vehicle is serviced.

The recommendation is seen as an indication of an imminent ruling to ensure the protection of motorists’ rights in deciding where they would choose to service their vehicles.

Currently, authorised dealers of all the auto brands mandate car owners to carry out periodic maintenance with the authorised dealers to ensure validity of the vehicle’s warranty.

The committee recommended changing the terms of car warranty contracts with car agencies and manufacturers. It recommended removal of the clause that says that the warranty becomes void if a customer carries out periodic vehicle maintenance at a private service centre not authorised by the manufacturer.

The recommendations were made during the fourth meeting of the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection, chaired by Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection.

During the meeting, Al Mansouri emphasised that consumer protection is a top priority for the ministry as it deals with it as key pillar in ensuring social stability in the UAE for both Emiratis and expatriate residents.

Al Mansouri praised efforts by all relevant departments to raise consumers’ awareness of their rights against fraud. He stressed the need for continuous coordination between the ministry and local and federal authorities to promote the culture of consumer protection following the Federal Law No 24 of 2006.

In September this year, the ministry had announced that all cars must be serviced at every 10,000km instead of 5,000km, the frequency commonly recommended by most car manufacturers.

According to the ruling, the manufacturers and authorised car dealers have until the end of this year to comply with the decision.

The ruling also came as part of the ministry’s effort to protect consumer rights, however, auto experts argued that UAE extreme climatic conditions should be taken into consideration before making any changes to service frequency.

However, the consumers welcomed the decision as it saved their money and reduced the time spent in running to service centres.

In a related move, the committee is considering adopting of rating system from 1-4 stars, to evaluate the service provided by car repair workshops, a move that comes as part of the ministry’s efforts to improve the quality of auto workshops. It will also provide customers information on the best available workshops in the town.

Among the other changes the committee recommended is gradual cancellation of additional fees charged when using credit cards in education, health and aviation sectors.

Al Mansouri said that the ministry has already cancelled additional fees charged by petrol stations when consumers use credit cards to pay, and petrol companies, including Adnoc, Enoc and Emarat were notified about this decision.