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Car Warranty in the UAE: Consumer Laws and Servicing At Centres Not Affiliated to the Dealer

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:40:59


consumer, law

Laws relating to car warranty in the UAE fall under the ambit of the new Consumer Protection Law, which was notified last year as Federal Law No. 15 of 2020, as an exhaustive law that is enough to include all goods and services. However, it is important to ascertain if you can get a warranty for your car if the vehicle is serviced outside of the manufacturer's service centres. A warranty is like an insurance policy that ensures a car owner that any defect covered by the policy will be repaired at no cost, or will be replaced at no cost if the vehicle cannot be repaired. Most warranties are provided by the manufacturer of the automobile and cover defects in materials and workmanship.

An adequate understanding of your consumer rights would assist you to not get persuaded to get a false impression, helps your peace of mind if you are to run into a sudden mechanical issue with your vehicle and, most importantly, saves your money. Car warranties do not become invalid if you're still in your agreed warranty period, even if you are to receive services from other authorised dealers.

Who is an Authorised Dealer?

In 2016, the Ministry of Economy abolished conditions that make it mandatory for vehicle owners to service vehicles at the dealer's service centre alone and has promoted consumer convenience by allowing the warranty to remain valid, even if the owner were to receive services from another service centre. However, the service centre chosen must be one among the centres approved by the Emirates Authority for Standardizations and Metrology ESMA, which rate car maintenance and repair workshops based on a star rating method. Moreover, if a dealer refuses to provide services, you are protected under the rights guaranteed under the Consumer Protection Laws. Furthermore, it may be noted that this decision was, as the Director of the Consumer Protection Department under the Ministry of Economy said, to revoke the compulsory condition of maintaining the motor vehicle inside the car dealer's workshop to ensure that the cars' guarantees are continued and that the consumers have a larger pool of choices.


Relevant Provisions under New Consumer Laws in the UAE

The duty to provide after-sale services and the duty in ensuring the quality of goods were already enshrined in the repealed consumer protection law, known as Federal Law No. 24 of 2006 in respect of Protection of Consumers. Here, the relevant Articles were Article 33 and 34, which stated as hereunder:

"The provider shall guarantee the quality of the goods or services, the availability of the specifications specified or the conditions imposed by the consumer in writing. He shall also guarantee the latent defects which may diminish the value of the goods or service or render the same unusable for the purposes for which it is produced according to its nature or the terms of the contract entered into by the provider and consumer.", and under Article 34, as,

"The provider shall provide the after-sale services, including spare parts, maintenance for durable goods, for a period not less than five years, or according to the nature of the goods."

These provisions have been clubbed together under Article 10 of the New Consumer Protection Law, which was published in November 2020 and shall repeal the existing Consumer Law [Federal Law No. 24 of 2006]. The provision specifically states that the supplier has to maintain all warranties and maintenance within the specified time limit. Hence, read with the abolition of compulsory service at the service centres of the dealer, it can be concluded that the Consumer Protection Law allows you to service your vehicle elsewhere (i.e., ESMA Authorised Centres), while retaining the warranty as it is.