The Office of the Consumer Protection Board had proposed a draft Liability of Defective Product Act (the “Draft Product Liability Act”) which was approved in principle by the Cabinet on November 21st ,2017. Then, the Draft Product Liability Act will be considered by the Council of State and then passes through to the National Legislation for its final consideration and approval before becoming enforced.The provisions related to the product liability matters in the past were under the Civil and Commercial Code in which the basic principal of the said Code is based on the freedom and declaration of intention of individuals. Therefore, the government cannot get involved on those transactions. From this cause, the entrepreneurs, who have a superior bargaining power on this matter, then exercise those gaps to take advantages from the consumers.Moreover, the transactions in relation to leasing of properties and the transactions involving with the payment by installments have been increased dramatically during these periods, but there is no legislation enacted to protect the rights of the lessees and those persons who purchase the products by paying in a form of installments. It is to be noted that those kinds of person do not have the rights over such properties as the ownership of the same are still not transferred to them. Last but not least, there are no complexity products (e.g. electronic items) have been launched much in the market in the past in which the defect can be found easily.
From the above reasons, the government then prescribes the Draft Product Liability Act in order to solve the problems.
There are key provisions provided in the Draft Product Liability Act as follows:
- The lessees and the persons, who purchase the products by paying in a form of installments, are able to claim directly against the sellers.
- The customers including the lessees and the persons, who purchase the products by paying in a form of installments, are able to demand for fixing, changing, improving, discounting or cancelling of the transactions in relation to the defective products.
- It is presumed that if there is any defect appeared within 6 months since delivery’s date, it deems that the defect has been occurred from such date.
The Draft Product Liability Act also prescribes the exemption of liability of entrepreneurs in relation to the defective products as follows:
(i) The consumers are aware of such defect at the first place; or
(ii) The product is obtained from a public auction according to court’s order.
In summary, the purpose of this Draft Product Liability Act is to protect the consumers from purchasing of the complexity products (such as cars or electricity devices, etc.) in which it always has an argument whether there is defect occurred to the products before purchasing.
Author: Panisa Suwanmatajarn