Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE - VINOD NAIR MUS­CAT, JAN 13

Pub­lic re­sponse to ve­hi­cle re­calls in the Sul­tanate is a mere 20 per cent as against 24 per cent in Saudi Ara­bia and 70 per cent in the US, said Waleed al Sagr, Head of Cer­tifi­cate Au­then­ti­ca­tion, GCC Stan­dard­iza­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (GSO).

Speak­ing to the Ob­server on the side­lines of a sem­i­nar ti­tled ‘Ve­hi­cle Re­call and its Role in Road Safety’, or­gan­ised by Pub­lic Au­thor­ity for Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion (PACP), he said “con­sumers here do not know how to re­act to ve­hi­cle re­call an­nounce­ments.” SAFETY RISKS The sem­i­nar was held un­der the aus­pices of Shaikh Khalid bin Omar al Marhoon, Min­is­ter of Civil Ser­vice, who stressed the im­por­tance of the sem­i­nar in rais­ing aware­ness on tech­ni­cal de­fects in ve­hi­cles.

Al Sagr said the ve­hi­cle own­ers should take re­call an­nounce­ments by man­u­fac­tur­ers or deal­ers se­ri­ously as ve­hi­cle de­fects pose se­ri­ous safety risks.

Ac­cord­ing to him, 94 per cent of road ac­ci­dents oc­cur due to hu­man er­ror, while ex­ter­nal fac­tors such as ve­hi­cle de­fects and road de­sign is­sues are re­spon­si­ble for the re­main­ing six per cent.

“For the sake of road safety and to min­imise ac­ci­dents due to man­u­fac­tur­ing de­fects, we should fol­low all ve­hi­cle re­call an­nounce­ments made by PACP very se­ri­ously.” He said con­sumers here do not re­alise the im­por­tance of ve­hi­cle re­calls de­spite an­nounce­ments that the de­fects are fixed free of cost by deal­ers or man­u­fac­tur­ers. AIRBAG DE­FECT TOP A PACP of­fi­cial said: “We need to ex­plain to con­sumers about the pos­si­ble de­fects faced in ve­hi­cles be­cause it can lead to ac­ci­dents.” A web­site was launched on the oc­ca­sion for con­sumers to know if his/her car has been re­called or any other in­for­ma­tion about the prod­uct, in­clud­ing spare parts.

“When one buys a ve­hi­cle, it is ex­pected to be in a good con­di­tion. But prob­lems in open­ing bon­nets, pro­gram­ming or airbag is­sues could lead to se­ri­ous driver dis­trac­tions and ac­ci­dents.” He said more than 146,022 ve­hi­cles have been re­called due to airbag de­fects, which has been among the top rea­sons for ve­hi­cle re­calls in Oman. Dr Said bin Khamis al Kaabi, Chair­man of PACP, said the au­thor­ity has been very strict with ve­hi­cle re­calls and re­pairs.

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