As the auto industry looks ahead to the implementation on Oct 1 of China's "three guarantees", the first national regulations on car warranties, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine responded to questions about the new rules in a written interview with China Daily reporter Han Tianyang.
What's the significance of the three-guarantee regulation?
The regulation has been drafted mainly to protect consumer rights and help establish a fair market environment as well as promote the healthy development of the auto industry.
It is also necessary to further improve China's legal system and build a harmonious society.
The strict regulation makes automakers pay more attention to the quality of their products. Customers now have a better legal basis to defend their rights.
They have various channels through which to lodge complaints. And they are entitled to better products and services.
What will be the major difficulties in the initial period of implementation?
In the initial period of implementation, there may be increasing complaints because the regulation is not well understood by some customers.
Cars are complex products made up of thousands of components and parts.
It's difficult to judge problems based on a single part or failure. Moreover, in general, the high test and inspection costs are difficult for consumers to afford.
Learning from the experiences in some developed countries, a talent pool of technological consultants will be established to offer consultation, which will be a more simple and economic way to solve possible disputes. When tests and inspections are required to verify certain problems, they should be done according to relevant regulations.
What's the difference between the three-guarantee policy and the previous regulation on auto recalls?
Their objectives are different.
The three-guarantee regulation aimed at isolated quality problems related to individual cars, which could be safety problems and general functional problems.
A recall targets cars that have quality problems related to safety - or in another word, defects - that exist in a batch of products because of design or manufacturing reasons. Moreover, the three-guarantee only applies to passenger vehicles, while recalls cover all kinds of vehicles, including passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and trailers, even tires.
Who should be responsible for replacing or repairing a defective car and providing refunds? Dealers or carmakers?
The car sellers should bear the direct responsibility, according to the three-guarantee regulation.
However, if the fault lies with producers or other parties, the sellers - or dealers - have the right to demand compensation from them.
If the customers have disputes with the companies on vehicle quality problems, they can solve the problem through three ways - mediation, arbitration and civil suits.