The National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC) reports millions of Ringgit of potential loss to consumers in the auto sector involved more than RM135 million (value of products-cars/workshop services) from 2010 to 2013. Annually since 2010 refunds and warranty complaints often constitute about a quarter of the number of complaints received followed by faulty new vehicles. More than half of the complaints against auto workshops are related to the quality of repairs (delays and problems not rectified).
A spate of safety recalls in the private vehicle sector such as the fatal air bag deployment mechanism, unintended acceleration and faulty ignition cases has eroded public confidence in vehicle safety. Performance claims have been fraudulent evident from the defeat device used by Volkswagen.
According to the World Health Organisation, road safety incidents will be the seventh cause of death worldwide by 2030. Among the factor contributing to the staggering statistic is unsafe/sub-standard vehicles and vehicle parts (for example unintended acceleration and faulty air mechanisms and emission control). Counterfeit or sub-standard vehicle parts and protective equipment also pose great challenges in efforts to save lives of vehicle users passengers especially children and motorcyclists.
This brings us to the reason to select the theme for the 39th ISO COPOLCO (COnsumer POLicy COmmittee) Plenary and other related activities on improving compliance with Harmonised International Road and Vehicle Safety Standards. Malaysian Association of Standards Users (Standards Users) is the only national civil society with primary focus on compliance with safety standards for consumer products and services including road, public transport and private vehicle safety. Standards Users was appointed by the Department of Standards Malaysia as Standard Development Agency in 2014.
ISO COPOLCO the Committee on Consumer Policy of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Delegates typically are representatives from the national standards bodies and consumer organizations in the various countries. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is also represented. The annual event of ISO COPOLCO is attended by 70 to 80 member countries. ISO COPOLCO is one of policy development committees apart from CASCO (Conformity Assessment) and DEVCO (Developing Country Matters) that reports to ISO Council who administering the implementation of the ISO’s Strategic Plan and its policies. ISO COPOLCO advises ISO COUNCIL on consumer issues related to development of international standards including those developed ISO Technical Committee, ISO/TC 22 on Vehicle Safety and ISO/TC 204 on Intelligent Transportation System.
ISO COPOLCO maintains strong liaison with United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Consumer International (CI), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Pan American and African regional standards forum to ensure that consumer representatives in these regions are aware of best practices in implementation and compliance with standards for products and services and lobby regulators to encourage businesses to comply with these standards.
The 39th ISO COPOLCO event that has been schedule on 15~18 May 2017. Full packed working group meetings that discussing the key areas on consumer issues on 15th and opening ceremony by Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation workshop continues with a Dialogue Session on Role and Relevance of ISO Standards in Facilitating Trade in Southeast Asia on 16th in parallel with Capacity Building. On 17th there will be a workshop with Road Safety by Design that expected to be participate by all relevant stakeholders. Plenary meeting on 18th will discussed and conclude on resolutions that consists of international convenors, co-convenors and consumer representatives. This meeting expected to construct better policy on road safety that restore consumer trust on road and vehicle safety not only in Malaysia but also right through the world.