Business / Industries

Chinese consumers forced to buy car insurance: watchdog

By Xu Wei ( Updated: 2015-03-29 19:31

Many auto dealers in China are forcing consumers into purchasing car insurance and failing to live up to their promises for car maintenance, a consumer rights association under the country's quality watchdog, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, has revealed.

The auto dealers generally force consumers into buying car insurance and high-price auto parts during repairs, as the car insurance was tied during the car purchase process, and there is no option for the consumers to choose to not buy it, according to a report released on Saturday by the China Association for Quality Promotion.

The association said the fact that a majority of consumers have little knowledge of car maintenance also made them vulnerable to fraud by some auto dealers.

The report was released after the association investigated the product and service quality and credit information in after-sales service of 1,662 enterprises over 22 industries in 10 provincial areas from June to December last year.

The report came after China Central Television said in its annual 3/15 Gala program that a large number of auto dealers in China are exaggerating the problems of vehicles brought in for repairs to make more profit.

Some car dealerships operating under Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Co, Shanghai Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Hangzhou, have been charging consumers thousands of yuan for a simple problem that could be solved by merely plugging in the induction coil inside the ignition system, the report said.

Problems of failing to live up to promises for after-sales service were found in the household appliances industry, as many producers were also found to have failed to answer customer hotlines or offer consumers timely on-site repairs, the association said.

Meanwhile, fake products were still rampant in the country's furniture industry and some furniture makers are passing off average wood products as high-end rosewood furniture to consumers, the report said.

Problems of passing off inferior products as high-end goods were also found in the eyewear industry, the association said. The quality of products also fluctuates to a large degree due to the lack of a quality management system within industries.

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