Auto con­sumer pro­tec­tion laws lag, groups say

Cape Breton Post - - BUSINESS -

TORONTO — A U.S. or­der re­quir­ing Fiat Chrysler to buy back thou­sands of Dodge Ram pick­ups and Chrysler SUVs does not ap­ply to Canada, a dis­crep­ancy that high­lights a weak­ness in con­sumer pro­tec­tion here, na­tional ad­vo­cacy groups say. The US$105 mil­lion fine and buy­back pro­gram for up to a third of 579,000 ve­hi­cles was im­posed on Fiat Chrysler by the U.S. gov­ern­ment on Mon­day. The Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion pun­ished the com­pany af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into nearly two dozen re­calls found it botched its re­sponse by not do­ing enough to no­tify cus­tomers and get the af­fected ve­hi­cles off the road and re­paired. Ken White­hurst, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for Con­sumers Coun­cil of Canada, said Cana­di­ans of­ten as­sume con­sumer pro­tec­tions are stronger here than in the more busi­ness-friendly U.S. in many ar­eas, in­clud­ing ve­hi­cle safety, but the op­po­site is true.

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