UAE: Legal Options for Second-Hand Car Buyers Deceived About Accident History

UAE: Legal Options for Second-Hand Car Buyers Deceived About Accident History

When purchasing a second-hand vehicle, the disclosure of the car’s history, especially regarding any major accidents, is crucial. But what happens if the seller fails to inform the buyer about such critical details? Do consumer protection laws or warranty rules offer any recourse?

Question: I recently bought a second-hand car directly from the owner after seeing an ad on a classifieds website. After the purchase, I discovered that the vehicle had been involved in a major accident, which the owner did not disclose. I paid the market value for the car, unaware of its history. Do I have any legal options against the seller? Do warranty rules or consumer protection laws apply in this situation?

Answer: In the UAE, sellers are legally required to provide accurate and complete details about the products they sell. This requirement is stipulated in Article 6(1)(e) of Cabinet Decision No. 66 of 2023, which outlines the obligations of suppliers under the Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection. The law mandates that suppliers must issue an invoice with specific details, including the condition of the product if it is used.

  • Article 6(1)(e) of the Cabinet Decision No. 66 of 2023 requires suppliers to provide detailed invoices that include information about the condition of the commodity, among other specifics.
  • Article 8 of the same Cabinet Decision classifies advertisements as deceptive if they contain misleading claims that could create a false impression for consumers. Misleading claims about the nature, condition, or history of a product, including a second-hand vehicle, are considered deceptive practices.
  • Under Article 12 of Federal Law No. 15 of 2020, if a product is found to be defective or not as described, the supplier is required to repair, replace, or refund the product, or re-perform the service free of charge.

Steps to Take:

  1. Contact the Seller: First, attempt to resolve the issue directly with the seller. Inform them about the non-disclosure and request compensation or repair for the vehicle.
  2. File a Complaint: If the seller refuses to cooperate, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Department at the Department of Economic Development (DED) in the emirate where you purchased the vehicle.
  3. Legal Action: If an amicable resolution cannot be reached, you have the right to take the matter to court. You can file a case against the seller for compensation, citing the relevant provisions of the Consumer Protection Law.

Potential Consequences for the Seller:

  • Fines: According to Addendum 2 of the Cabinet Decision No. 66 of 2023, a seller providing misleading advertisements can face fines up to Dh100,000.
  • Liability for Repairs: If the vehicle was under manufacturer warranty at the time of the accident, the warranty might cover certain repairs. However, this depends on the warranty’s specific terms and conditions.

As a buyer in the UAE, you are protected under robust consumer protection laws. If a seller fails to disclose significant information about a second-hand vehicle, such as a major accident, you have legal avenues to seek compensation. Ensure to report the issue promptly to the relevant authorities and consider legal action if necessary to safeguard your rights and interests.

News Source: Khaleej Times

Maryam Pervez

Written by Maryam Pervez

Maryam is the Managing Editor at HiDubai, bringing 8+ years of expertise in marketing, social media, and content development. She holds a Master's degree in Marketing Comms from Middlesex University.
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