Above: Minister McLean discusses new consumer protections for car buyers and owners along with Brett Morgan, owner of Sandy Lane Auto and Jeff Kasbrick, AMA. – GOA Photo
by Morinville News Staff
A Better Deal for Consumers and Businesses Act would better protect Albertans buying or repairing a vehicle by increasing the accountability and transparency of the automotive industry, the government announced Thursday.
If passed, the government says the new bill would help build a trusted marketplace where consumers are confident they are getting their money’s worth.
“When Albertans buy a car or have theirs repaired, they deserve to have a straightforward experience,” said Stephanie McLean, Minister, Service Alberta, in a release Thursday. “These changes would help Albertans make more informed decisions, protect their pocketbook and value the work of Alberta’s many trustworthy automotive businesses.”
Proposed changes in the Bill include requiring automotive businesses to disclose important vehicle information to consumers, including vehicle history, requiring a standard bill of sale for automotive sales, and establishing minimum warranty protections for repairs. Additional changes include requiring repair shops to provide written estimates upon request to consumers prior to beginning work.
Jeff Kasbrick, vice president of Government & Stakeholder Relations, Alberta Motor Association, said his organization has a long tradition of high standards and commitment to consumer protection with their Approved Auto Repair Service program, of 380 repair facilities across Alberta.
“AMA supports this legislation because, although most repair shops in the province are committed to quality service, we believe all Albertans should have confidence in the service they’re receiving,” Kasbrick said.
Under the Bill, Alberta’s auto regulator, the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC), would transition into a public agency. The government says the move would make AMVIC more responsive to consumers by ensuring it follows the same rules of transparency and accountability as the rest of Alberta’s agencies, boards and commissions.
AMVIC is responsible for providing consumer protection in the motor vehicle industry. In addition to licensing businesses and salespeople and ensuring there’s a fair marketplace for consumers and businesses, AMVIC is responsible for investigating violations of consumer protection laws.
More information can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/consumer-protection-changes.aspx