The PCA adopts a decision which renders legally binding the commitments offered by SIVA regarding motor vehicle warranties

Press Release 5/2016
The PCA adopts a decision which renders legally binding the commitments offered by SIVA regarding motor vehicle warranties
 
The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) adopted a decision which renders legally binding the commitments offered by SIVA – Sociedade de Importação de Veículos Automóveis, S.A. in relation to Audi, VW and Škoda brands (SIVA), in order to address the competition concerns related to motor vehicle warranties’ restrictions.
 
The PCA’s investigation, started on 19 February 2015, revealed the existence, on SIVA´s extended warranty contract, in relation to Audi, VW and Škoda brands, of a clause which prevented consumers from having repair and maintenance work carried out by independent repairers, if not to lose the right to the manufacturer’s warranty.
 
To address the PCA’s competition concerns, SIVA offered a set of commitments in relation to Audi, VW and Škoda brands in order to put an end to the investigated behaviours.
 
Following the public consultation, which allowed for any third parties to present their comments and once the analysis was finished, the PCA concluded that the commitments presented by SIVA in relation to Audi, VW and Škoda brands were adequate to eliminate the potential harmful effects on competition and on consumer welfare.
 
The commitments SIVA is obliged to adopt, under the PCA’s monitoring, are the following:
• The modification of the clause that prevented consumers from having repair and maintenance work carried out by independent repairers, if not to lose the right to the manufacturer’s warranty;
• The obligation to not to insert or to promote the insertion in SIVA’s website, contracts, extended warranty contracts, booklets and/or in any official documents, of any clause preventing consumers from having repair and maintenance work carried out by independent repairers, if not to lose the right to the manufacturer’s warranty.
• The communication to its official dealers, repair networks and clients of the inapplicability of any restrictions on the possibility of clients choosing independent repairers without losing the extended warranty rights; and
• The introduction (in SIVA, VW, Škoda e Audi websites, contracts, extended warranty contracts, booklets and/or any official documents regarding warranties) of a notice stating that warranties are not conditional on the end user having repair and maintenance work carried out only within the Audi, VW and Škoda official repair networks.
 
Under the Portuguese Competition Act, the PCA may accept commitments presented by undertakings which are considered to be adequate to eliminate the effects on competition of the investigated behaviours.
 
In this context, the PCA adopted a Commitment’s decision on 21 January 2016