Right move to lift car dealers' warranty curbs

I welcome the Competition Commission of Singapore's (CCS') move in working with major car dealers to lift the warranty curbs (Car repairs may be cheaper after lifting of warranty curbs; Dec 12).

Many firms have found ways to muscle in on the aftermarket, using measures such as warranties and authorised repair shops, for instance.

This is similar to the strategy of selling cheap printers but raising the price of ink cartridges.

Owners of smartphones, for example, do not control the software in their devices; they are licensed only to use it.

Therefore, consumers should be aware that some of their most basic property rights are under threat.

Consumers should fight back for the right to tinker with their own property, modify it if they wish and the control over who has the right to the data.

Most gadgets and devices are sold on the basis that they empower people to do what they want.

If people have certain restrictions to abide by, that freedom is compromised.

CCS should also consider making it mandatory for dealers to provide the independent workshops with access to the product information, spare parts and repair tools.

Most gadgets and devices are sold on the basis that they empower people to do what they want.

If people have certain restrictions to abide by, that freedom is compromised.

This is unhealthy.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2017, with the headline 'Right move to lift car dealers' warranty curbs'. Print Edition | Subscribe