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Law change for recalls

08 July 2005

New powers to recall dangerously defective cars have been given to Trading Standards.


New powers to recall dangerously defective cars have been given to Trading Standards.

Until now, the recall of cars with potentially dangerous faults has been an entirely voluntary system in the UK.

Now, to comply with a European Directive, Trading Standards can force a recall if it thinks one is warranted and a manufacturer has not acted.

Companies that subsequently fail to act face fines of up to £20,000.

Consumer minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: ‘Manufacturers and distributors are very good at recalling products but, by giving enforcement agencies new powers, we are ensuring the UK remains a safe place for consumers.’

The recall system in the UK is considered to be one of the best in the world. It has been used as a best-practice guide by other countries that have had compulsory systems, including Japan and America, but that want to launch additional voluntary schemes.

Whatcar.com editor Iain Reid said: ‘It is highly likely that the vast majority of UK car recalls will continue to be done on a voluntary basis in cooperation with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). We do welcome, however, any move which strengthens the protection that consumers are given.’

VOSA has an online database of all car recalls conducted in the UK over the past 13 years. Click here to access the database and search by any make or model.

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