Wee: MoT to look into shortage of Proton X50 and X70 parts, right-to-repair issue raised
Hans · Jun 3, 2022 10:35 AM
Shortage of spare parts, especially for Proton X70 and X50 is forcing users to look for alternatives
Spare parts traders cannot order Geely parts directly from China, because Chinese market parts don’t comply with UN regulations that are adopted in many markets, Malaysia included. Certification of compliance must be applied.
Independent workshops say requiring cars to be repaired by authorized service centres as a condition for warranty, is anti-competition
Ministry of Transport will be looking into grouses raised by the Selangor and Federal Territory Engineering and Motor Parts Traders' Association of Malaysia (EMPTA), including difficulties in obtaining spare parts for the Proton X70 and X50.
Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said the Ministry would look into the concerns of spare parts businesses who could not supply parts and provide repair services for the Proton X70 and X50.
“We will look into whether this violates any competition rules or diminishes the rights of owners for these models," he said in a Facebook post, which was picked up by The Edge.
Wee also said the he welcomes more dialogues to discuss issues related to the automotive industry and vehicle spare parts.
As with any manufacturer, regardless of whether it’s a car or consumer electronics product, the terms and conditions of the product’s warranty explicitly states that repairs or modifications done by a third party will immediately void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Wee’s Facebook post suggests that the spare parts traders association view such terms and conditions as anti-competition. To be fair, the comment is not without merit.
In Europe for example, the European Commission compels manufacturers to continue to provide warranty (which we have to add, is only 2 years) regardless of whether the vehicle is serviced at the manufacturer’s authorized service centre or an independent workshop.
There is however a caveat that many forget. Independent workshops are required to purchase all the special necessary service tools, service manuals, and the technicians working on the cars must have the right certification recognized by the manufacturer. This way, the standard of service in the entire industry lifts up.
Just don’t expect the service cost to remain cheap though. This also explains why despite the freedom to go elsewhere, many European customers still choose to go back to an authorized service centre.
Right-to-repair is a double-edged sword that cuts both ways, but not in equal ways. Most of the time, the manufacturer earns even more this way because they can now sell even more special service tools.
Every time a new model with a vastly different mechanical structure or electronics architecture hits the market, the workshop has to spend money to upgrade their tools.
Another issue raised by the spare parts traders association to Wee is difficulty in obtaining parts that comply with the UNECE regulations, which is compulsory for all automotive parts sold in Malaysia.
The United Nations regulations concerns road worthiness automotive components and components that meet the requirements carry the E-marking. According to the traders, they are facing difficulties in obtaining E-mark certification.
Going back to the Proton X70 and X50, yes spare parts traders can order these parts directly from China, but these Chinese-market parts won’t carry the E-mark since it’s not meant for Malaysia. They are similar but not identical. Without the E-mark, these parts are technically illegal in Malaysia.
The only way spare parts stockits can obtain Proton parts is to order them directly from Proton, who like many manufacturers, is facing shortage in spare parts supply.
Wee said he had listened to feedbacks of more than 1,100 member companies.
“These involved various difficulties related to obtaining E-mark certification, HS Codes and streamlining Component Type Approval (CTA) and Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) application. We will coordinate with the relevant authorities and ministries to help their members expedite their processes in these matters,” said Wee.