The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) opened proceedings against Fiat Group Automobiles Portugal, S.A., now FCA Portugal, S.A. (Fiat), in relation to the Fiat brand, for alleged infringements of competition rules.
The investigation revealed the existence of extended warranty contracts which prevented consumers from having repair and maintenance services carried out by independent repairers, if not to lose the right to the manufacturer’s warranty.
On 21 December 2015, Fiat offered a set of commitments to meet the competition concerns expressed by the PCA. According to these commitments, Fiat is obliged to change all its contracts and official documents, eliminating the restriction mentioned above and inform its official dealers and repair centres that warranties are not conditional on the end user having repair and maintenance work carried out only within the Fiat official repair network. Fiat is also obliged to forward the altered extended warranty contract to all the clients which subscribed the restrictive version.
According to Law No 19/2012, of 8 may, the PCA may accept the commitments offered by the undertakings at stake in the proceedings, when it considers that the commitments offered are able to eliminate the negative effects of the investigated practices on competition.
Fiat is obliged to comply with the set of commitments now offered to the PCA, under the Authority’s supervision.
The commitments offered by Fiat are, from today onwards, subject to public consultation.
The results of the public consultation will be published on the Authority’s official website.
This is the fourth investigation carried out by the Portuguese Competition Authority, regarding motor vehicles warranties, in the last 18 months.
29 December 2015