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As we all know the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) became Law on the 1 October 2015 and replaced previous Consumer Law and introduced a tiered remedy system for consumers.
However, with all the focus being on the new Act you may not be aware it is now the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which has responsibility for overseeing Consumer Law. This body replaced the OFT.
With greater enforcement powers than the OFT, the CMA has been tackling issues such as price comparison websites, but it will probably not be too long before it focuses its attention on the Motor Industry.
The CRA has actually increased the powers of the CMA to remedy Consumer Law breaches through what are called “enhanced consumer measures”. These enhanced measures include the power for the CMA to order a company to pay compensation. At the moment, we are not aware of any such compensatory orders being made in relation to the Motor Industry.
However, the Government also appears to be consulting on the introduction of Civil fines for breach of Consumer Protection Laws which may add to the CMA’s armoury.
It is worth looking at the CMA website from time to time as this can give an idea of where their focus for investigation currently is.
Interestingly, on the 29 April 2016 the CMA has launched a review of whether car rental brokers are complying with Consumer Protection Laws.
We will of course keep you updated on developments.
Andrew Reeves, Solicitor, Motor Industry Legal Services