Hire-Purchase Act amendment protect consumers

The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs should continue to protect consumers by strictly enforcing the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 (HPA) and the recent amendments which came into effect on 15 June 2011.

Those in the motor business are complaining that their sales are down by 20-30% and they attribute it to the amendments though they also acknowledge that the amendments do protect consumers.

Yet at the same time the Malaysian Automotive Association predicts that the sales of automobiles in Malaysia are expected to reach a new record this year despite the disruption in supply following the earthquake in Japan and delays to vehicle registrations due to the HPA. (The Star 19.07.11)

Many motor traders had adopted unfair and even illegal practices to boost sales to meet ever increasing targets and increasing profits. The amendments became necessary to curb these practices in order to protect consumer interests.

The so-called ‘drop’ in sales in not actually a drop. Formerly vehicles were sold when they were not even ready for delivery. This was done by getting consumers to sign blank documents and pay deposits.

This created problems for consumers, cars not delivered on promised dates; cars registered without first being seen by purchasers; chosen colour not available, so take another colour or wait longer; cars that had been driven and thus not brand new.

Now the dealers are required to have the cars ready for delivery before signing agreements for their sale.

Thus consumers can see and examine the actual car they are purchasing.