Thailand – New Regulation over the Defective Products
Nowadays consumers may face problems with defective products which the consumers find out about them later as the products never show any malfunction at the time of delivery. A draft Liability of Defective Product Act (“Act”), which was approved in principle by the cabinet on 22 November 2022, has been proposed to keep up with the problems and for the benefit of protecting the rights of consumers.
The draft Act will cover manufacturing for sale, hiring for manufacturing for sale and ordering or importing products into the kingdom for sale. This also includes a seller or a hire-purchaser where a manufacturer or an importer of such products cannot be identified. The products fallen under this draft Act are in the categories of electric and electronic types of equipment, vehicles, motorcycles, including other products prescribed by the Royal Decree.
This draft Act is requiring for the business operators to be liable for defect in products that cause depreciation expenses or deterioration of products within 2 years from the date of delivery regardless of whether the business operators are aware of the defect of the products or not. In case that the products are defective within 1 year from the delivery date, it is presumed that the products are defective at the time of delivery.
Moreover, the business operators are responsible for any defect in the case that the business operators install or assemble the products or where the consumers assemble the products or install the same according to the manual provided by the business operators, but the manual does not specify how to install or assemble the products correctly or completely.
The draft Act prescribes the rights of consumers against the business operators who are liable for defect as follows:
- Claiming the business operators to repair the products;
- Asking the business operators to exchange the products;
- Asking for a price reduction; and
- Terminating the agreement.
If there is an agreement in advance excluding liabilities of the business operators for any defect, such agreement is voided.
Under this draft Act, the statute of limitation for claiming under this draft Act is 2 years from the date that the defect is found or business operators refuse to be responsible for the defect. However, it does not extinguish the consumer’s rights to demand the business operators being liable for such defect by virtue of rights under other laws.
This draft Act will need to be processed through several steps before becoming into effect. It will possibly take a few years.