The Supreme Court in Stockholm has dismissed Kia Motor’s petition to appeal against their conviction in
December 2012 for breach of competition in the Swedish market on its seven-year new car warranty.
Under the EU Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation 461/2010, manufacturers have a duty to honour the vehicle’s warranty when it is serviced outside of the dealership, and non-OE parts being fitted onto a vehicle is an insufficient reason for the warranty to be declared invalid.
Kia’s terms outline that it is a requirement that any service is performed by a brand authorised workshop. A Swedish trade body, SBF, reported the VM to the Swedish Competition Authority who agreed the terms were likely in breach of block exemption regulations.
Following this, SBF sued the VM in the Swedish Market Court which then convicted Kia Motors for breach of competition.
Understandably, UK trade bodies were delighted with the result. Wendy Williamson, IAAF Chief Executive said: “The Swedish verdict is fundamentally important; it’s the first of its kind within the EU, and is a huge victory for the aftermarket. It sets an important precedent for the independent aftermarket within Europe.
“The aftermarket has to educate ill-informed motorists about their rights, so it is essential the IAAF is made aware of any block exemption infringements as soon as possible so we can react quickly to resolve them.
“This case is a stark reminder to VMs and dealers to abide by the current legislation. Under these rules, everyone has a ‘Right2Choose’ and car owners are no longer obliged to go to their dealer during the vehicle’s warranty period. We are continuing to do everything we can to promote the regulations to vulnerable motorists.”