RESPONSE TO RECALLS JUST 20
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.