Motorcar sector tops list of consumer complaints

FOR the first time, the motorcar industry topped the list of industries that drew the most complaints from Singapore consumers.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) said it received 2,255 cases from the motorcar sector last year, a 79 per cent jump compared to the previous year.

Case President Lim Biow Chuan, who is also the Member of Parliament for Mountbatten SMC, said in a statement today that the spike in complaints could be due to more people buying second-hand cars because of high Certificate Of Entitlement prices for new cars. Second-hand vehicles are more likely to have defects.

Case attended to a total of 25,733 consumer complaints last year, a 15.7 per cent increase from the 22,240 cases in 2011.

The beauty industry, which was the most complained against industry in 2011, was ranked second despite the number of complaints edging up to 1,984 from 1,565. The most common complaints were inappropriate sales tactics.

The electrical and electronics industry came in third. There were 569 more complaints than in 2011. Case said it could be due to more consumers seeking redress as a result of the lemon law which came into effect in September last year.

The lemon law is an amendment to the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act and the Hire Purchase Act which gives consumers more protection against inherently defective products, colloquially known as "lemons".

Case resolved 74.3 per cent of all complaints received last year, and helped consumers recover $3.3 million.

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