New regulations on the recall of faulty cars and other automobiles for inspection have been drafted by the nation's safety custodians.
The State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine publicized the new edicts on Wednesday in response to heated debate in the media about the numbers of accidents caused by defective autos.
Many consumers have complained in the media that world automobile giants such as DaimlerChrysler and Honda have excluded China when recalling defective products from overseas markets.
All that is offered by the foreign companies to Chinese consumers is free automobile inspection and reparation or the replacement of defective parts.
The major reason why Chinese consumers are treated differently from their foreign counterparts is that China has no laws or regulations that are related to the recall of faulty autos.
"The regulations will certainly be good for Chinese consumers and I hope they will be implemented soon," said Beijing resident Li Ren.
Li said Chinese consumers should be treated the same as foreign ones when any accident occurs due to defects in their vehicles.
Wang Chuming, a lawyer at Beijing-based law firm GH and Partners, said the government was acting swiftly in drafting the regulations now that China has entered the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The regulations will help eliminate potential dangers in automobiles, he said.
But Wang said the regulations still needed improving.
He cited the example that the regulations do not clearly state whether or not a consumer has the right to sue any producer who recalls defective automobiles if no accident had occurred.
Wang said such a consumer does not usually have the right to sue the producer.
He added the government should also stipulate management regulations for the recall of other kinds of defective commodities or products.
The auto industry in China would certainly benefit if the regulations are implemented, said Wang Zongming, director of the service department of Beiqi Futian, a Beijing-based auto company.
"Since China became a full member of WTO, international practices, such as the recall of defective vehicles, should be adopted," he said. In addition, the regulations will urge Chinese automakers to improve their competitiveness.
But Wang worried that the reputation of a company that recalls its products could be ruined by consumers’ misunderstanding the reasons for the recall.
(China Daily October 25, 2002)