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Car warranty code launched by Motor Codes

Regulatory body Motor Codes has launched the Vehicle Warranty Products code of practice, a set of customer service guidelines for buyers of car warranties approved by the Trading Standards Institute.

It comes after an original warranty code of practice was suspended by Motor Codes in 2011 after it failed to protect consumers when online motor retailer Autoquake went into administration.

The new code regulates the advertising and sale of policies, outlines exactly what consumers should expect from the claims process and commits code subscribers to producing policy documentation written in plain English. 

It also ensures that no high-pressure selling is endured by customers of approved code subscribers.

The voluntary code of practice launches with more than half of the UK's warranty providers signed up at inception. Motor Codes said this brings protection to around 3 million policy holders of products such as MoT test insurance, roadside assistance and extended warranties.

Discussions between Motor Codes, the Trading Standards Institute and all remaining warranty providers are ongoing, to ensure that the highest levels of consumer protection are maintained within the car warranty sector.

The launch of the new code increases protection for motorists, adding to the New Car Code and Service and Repair Code already administered by Motor Codes, all endorsed by the Trading Standards Institute and backed by a free-to-access advisory service endorsed by Citizens Advice.

Consumer minister Jenny Willott MP said: "This new code should give peace of mind to consumers that when something goes wrong they will be dealt with fairly and transparently by those businesses which have signed up."

It's a final major achievement for Chris Mason, managing director at Motor Codes, who is leaving the organisation to join European trade body FISITA on August 1.

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