Alberta is preparing to tighten rules around auto repairs. Starting next week, the province will introduce new laws for selling vehicles and getting them fixed.
In a statement, Service Alberta Minister Brian Malkinson confirmed the new rules will be launched next Wednesday and be effective immediately. He says the changes are designed to increase consumer protection and create a more transparent system.
Sellers in Alberta will now have to give buyers a complete history of a vehicle they are selling. The history must include information such as whether the car was ever a fleet vehicle or if it has been in collisions.
Customers may be happy to see the new regulation extend to auto shops. Under the upcoming rules, auto shops must give customers a written estimate and have official customer consent before starting any repairs.
The changes coincide with the transition of the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council into a public agency. However, the rules have also garnered plenty of controversy and critics. The Motor Dealers’ Association of Alberta says the changes will put a burden on sellers and auto shops. Customers may also receive too much power, the group cautions.
As a result, the association is throwing its weight behind Opposition United Conservative Leader Jason Kenny. It hopes he will win next year’s elections and review the changes. In response, Malkinson insists the rules are fair:
“A vast majority of dealerships and auto repair shops are already doing this. What we’re doing is codifying best practice,” Malkinson said Thursday.
“We’ve put in this legislation so that there is a trusted marketplace for your everyday Alberta consumer, and that shops and dealers are competing on an even playing field.”