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Carmakers ‘ignoring’ parts rules

Vehicle manufacturers are ignoring rules on replacement part packaging, and as a result garages that use their parts could inadvertently be breaking the law.

The packaging of brake linings by a few vehicle manufacturers contravenes the Point of Sale regulations of the Consumer Protection Act 1999. According to the regulations replacement brake linings should be contained in sealed packaging constructed to show previous opening, and include fitting instructions.

According to Mike Owen, Retail Motor Industry head of aftermarket, compliance by vehicle manufacturers varies wildly: "Most vehicle manufacturers have an active stance and reissued correctly packaged parts, but some seem to have misinterpreted the rules and feel they need not comply. This puts businesses that use their parts at risk."

The Department for Transport says regulations have not been left open to interpretation, but apply literally as written.

"We have been assured by the Automotive Distribution Federation (ADF) that parts manufacturers are wholly compliant with the regulations, and the RMI is campaigning for the vehicle manufacturers to follow suit."

The RMI will be pressing for vehicle manufacturer compliance in a special meeting with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), taking place on Wednesday.

The UK consumer protection regulations enforce the international standard defined by Addendum 89, Regulation 90 of the United Nations regulation on brake shoes and pads. The regulation is available to read on the RMI website.

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