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Lemon law okay, but a balance must be struck, says Proton’s No. 2
Published on: Thursday, February 01, 2024
By: Predeep Nambiar, FMT
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Roslan Abdullah said Proton is considering a service-and-repair inclusive option for its cars, contingent on how it improves customer service in the long run.
GEORGE TOWN: Proton says it welcomes the proposal for a lemon law aimed at safeguarding consumers against defective products, but they must strike a balance in considering manufacturers’ rights.

“We are supportive of any efforts to protect consumers.

“It is our fervent hope that such laws should protect manufacturers, too, as we are also consumers,” said the carmaker’s deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah.

“We also rely on parts from others and are exposed to the elements just like other consumers,” he told reporters after inspecting the Vivahill Proton 3S Centre here.

The government had recently said it was exploring lemon law legislation and was studying best practices from other countries.

This follows reports of newly bought defective vehicles that went viral on social media, with notable cases including a Perodua Bezza breaking down eight hours after purchase and a Honda HR-V being stranded at a service centre for four months due to an unknown fault.

Countries like the US, Singapore, South Korea, China and the Philippines are among countries that have adopted a lemon law. “Lemons” refer to products that are defective, have bad performance or low durability.

Separately, Roslan said the carmaker may consider a service-and-repair inclusive option for its cars, which will cover repair and replacement costs of parts for a certain period. This will be contingent on how it improves customer service in the long run, he added.

“This is in the pipeline for us. Once customer satisfaction increases, then we can carry out a pilot programme on this,” he said.

Roslan said Proton was also improving its availability of parts, with these parts for minor collisions being made available within a week and in two months for more serious accident cases.

He said on average the company receives 7,000 line orders daily, equivalent to a monthly total of 210,000 orders for parts.

To ensure Proton can meet this commitment, it has a buffer stock of three months.

Roslan said with 155 service, sales and spare part centres across the country, and five more opening this year, Proton had outdone its Japanese competitors in terms of service coverage.

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