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24 May, 2024
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Transport Minister clarifies airbag recalls and responsible parties

Minister Vafeadis explores distributors' responsibilities amidst the recall ''tangle''

Panayiotis Rougalas

Panayiotis Rougalas

Minister of Transport, Mr. Alexis Vafeadis, delves into the complexities surrounding general vehicle recalls, shedding light on the responsibilities tied to European vehicles, imports from third countries, and the role of manufacturers' distributors.

Responding to a query from MP Irene Charalambidou regarding the notification of car owners about the necessity to replace airbags, the Minister outlined key aspects in a written letter to Parliament.

According to Vafeadis, the primary responsibility for informing vehicle owners about recalls, including those related to airbags, lies with the distributors of the manufacturers. He specifies that this information pertains to vehicles falling under European-type approval.

Addressing the treatment of vehicles not covered by European-type approval (second-hand vehicles from third countries), the Minister notes that the approach taken by manufacturers' distributors varies. Some distributors may not receive recall information, creating inconsistencies in addressing recalls across the board.

Procedure by Department of Road Transport (T.O.M.)

The Minister details the procedures established by the Department of Road Transport concerning recalls and handling vehicles not presented for required repairs:

1. Manufacturers' distributors initiate the process, notifying the Department of Road Transport and obtaining contact information for affected vehicle owners.

2. Distributors inform owners about pending repair work through repeated notifications.

3. If owners fail to present vehicles for necessary repairs despite notifications, distributors enter recall information into the Department's computer system.

4. Registered vehicle owners receive an SMS from the Department, urging them to bring in their vehicles for recall repairs. Simultaneously, a barrier is registered in the computer system, preventing periodic technical inspections until recall repairs are completed.

Legislative Void

The Minister clarifies that the actions taken by the Department are not defined by legislation but serve to enhance information dissemination to vehicle owners about recalls reported by manufacturers' distributors.

Additionally, Vafeadis highlights a notice on the Department's website, redirecting users to the European Commission's "Safety Gate: the EU's early warning system for dangerous non-food products."

Concluding his response, the Minister underscores that, according to manufacturers' distributors, recall repairs are free of charge if a vehicle is found to be subject to a recall.

[This article was translated from its Greek original and may have been edited for brevity and clarity]

Cyprus  |  road Safety  |  Europe

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