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Warranty code of practice approved

The code of practice for vehicle warranty sales has completed stage one of the Office of Fair Trading's Consumer Codes Approval Scheme.

Subscribers to the code administer around two million warranties for cars and motor vehicle products every year. By signing up to this code, they have agreed to raise their standard of customer service above that required by law.

The scheme is being managed by Motor Codes, which already administers codes for car manufacturers and vehicle workshops.

Stage one was for the OFT to approve its structure, now Motor Codes must prove the code works in practice to gain stage two.

It will carry out comprehensive monitoring including visits to garages and customer satisfaction surveys, to ensure that the code is working effectively.

Only codes that demonstrate this can achieve Stage Two approval, and be entitled to display the OFT Approved Code logo.

The vehicle warranty code places several conditions on members:

Give clear pre-contractual information to consumers so that they can make an informed decision on the suitability of a warranty.
Give clear information to consumers on what is covered under the warranty.
Provide a cancellation period of at least 14 days.
Give consumers access to an independent arbitration scheme for products that do not fall within the remit of the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Agree to be subject to independent disciplinary procedures for failing to comply with the code.

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