Transport ministry officials are getting serious pushback from groups opposing a new guideline that would require car damage history to be disclosed to prospective buyers of used vehicles.
According to local media, the transport department issued a guideline last month requiring all car sales persons to disclose on the actual car title any history of damages on used vehicles.
Government officials introduced the measure after a year of used car sales going up due to low cost, according to local media. The guideline would require additional inspections of vehicles ahead of sale in cases where structural damage was recorded on a specific vehicle, including whether the car had been in a flood or hail storm.
Used auto importers argue that the vast majority of second-hand damaged cars do not have serious or structural damage but only minor damages that do not affect the physical integrity of the vehicle
But second-hand car importers are crying foul over the measure, saying used auto sales have already dropped significantly due to the coronavirus lockdown.
According to Philenews, groups have written to Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos to voice their opposition and grievances, while reports also said they could even take the matter to court.
Used auto importers argue that the vast majority of second-hand damaged cars do not have serious or structural damage but only minor damages that do not affect the physical integrity of the vehicle.
The group also says repairing undisclosed minor damages according to previous practices meant that before a car reaches a prospective buyer, there is additional work to be done, giving jobs to mechanics, collision repair professionals, auto parts shops, and auto painters.
Lemons off the street
The transport department maintains the new guideline only has two goals, road safety by keeping "lemons" off the street and the right of consumers to be fully informed prior to making a purchase. A vehicle that turns out to have several manufacturing defects affecting its safety, value or utility, is known in the auto industry as a lemon.
In foreign auto markets, car sales persons are required to disclose any previous structural or serious damages including whether a car had been in a flood but not fender-benders or visible scratches.
Reports also suggest some used car markets have been gaining traction online in other countries due to Covid-19.