Executive Yuan's Consumer Protection Committee has reviewed and approved the draft amendment for "Mandatory and Prohibitory Provisions of Standard Contracts for Sales of Mobile Vehicles". The amendment specifies that the contract reviewing periods shall be at least 3 days; and in principle, the deposit collected by the seller must not exceed 10% of the total price. Also, for situations involving consumers' rights to demand a new vehicle replacement or rescind the contract for defects that cannot be fixed after several repair attempts, the amendment provides consumers with further protection compared to current regulations. The amendment will be later announced in the official notice of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in accordance with the law, and businesses will be guided to comply with the regulations. Relevant key points are as follows:
A. Focus of Amendment:
I. Reviewing periods shall be at least 3 days: In practice, it is common to see cases of consumers regretting signing a contract on the spot without a clear understanding of contract content as they were influenced by the sales pitch. In order to prevent consumer disputes, the review period length is specified.
II. Deposit collected by sellers must not exceed 10% of the total price: If the seller collects a deposit, the amount shall not exceed 10% of the total price, unless otherwise agreed. In practice, special agreements usually occur for the deals of limited-edition vehicles, custom-made vehicles, or parts-matching vehicles.
III. Circumstances where the consumer may request a replacement of the same model of vehicle (or equivalent value) or rescind the contract:
(I) Major defects: Any one of the following circumstances that occur within the agreed period (must not be less than 180 days) or mileage (must not be less than 12,000 km) after the vehicle hand-over (whichever occurs first):
1. Vehicle suddenly bursts into flames while driving.
2. Issues of sudden unintended acceleration, brake failure, vehicle flame-out, engine temperature rising to extreme, or other major defects that might jeopardize lives or health and safety that the service provider cannot fix after 2 repair attempts. (Mandatory Provision in §7)
(II) Unable to Restore the Vehicle After Several Repair Attempts:
1. Within the agreed period (must not be less than 180 days) or mileage (must not be less than 12,000 km ) after the vehicle hand-over (whichever occurs first), vehicle's normal function cannot be restored due to the same defect after 4 repair attempts by the vehicle maintenance plant as designated in the user manual.
2. Within the agreed period after the vehicle hand-over (must not be less than 180 days), and after the repair attempts by the vehicle maintenance plant as designated in the user manual, the accumulative time that such vehicle cannot be used normally reached 30 days or more due to functional defects.
B. Other key points from the regulations:
I. If the a vehicle is recalled by the manufacturer or importer for correction, the service provider shall arrange the time and place for the inspection and repair, as well as be obligated to conduct the inspection and repair free of charge.
II. The period of time and mileage covered by the warranty responsibility of the service provider are mandatory provisions in contracts
III. In contracts, the exclusion of or limitation to the warranty responsibility for defects that are not discovered at the time of vehicle hand-over is a prohibited provision.
IV. Other expenses prepaid by the buyer are prohibited provisions in contracts.
V. The exclusion of or limitations on the buyer's right to freely take out insurance are prohibited provisions in contracts.