/ Diario Financiero Letter: Pro-consumer reform and the automobile market

March 9, 2022

Francisca Barrientos, Counselor, Alessandri Abogados, director of Alberto Hurtado University (UAH) Private Law Department and consumer expert, wrote an opinion letter on the new pro-consumer law and the automobile market.

Dear Director:

Automobiles constitute one of the most sought-after mass consumer goods by Chileans. Even in times of pandemic, with a shortage of new cars and high prices, they continue to break sales records. The pro-consumer reform, Law No. 21,398 of 2021, recently enacted, incorporates new legal rules for this market, related to price information, delivery, retraction, financing systems and responsible lending, among others.

The main novelty consists in the introduction of a rule that tries to ensure the freedom of choice of “authorized” technical services to perform maintenance. The challenge for companies that enter into sales or leases with purchase options is that they will have to display lists of authorized services. But questions immediately arise, for example, who should be asked for such authorization, what would happen if a clause were included in the contract that is interpreted as arbitrary or abusive, or ambiguous? At least we know that there is some time to clarify these issues, due to the vacancy period of four months from the date of publication in the Official Gazette (December 24, 2021).

From a pro-consumer point of view, it would be expected that companies in the industry comply with this new regulation, adjust their processes and, above all, adopt preventive measures through the implementation of compliance models that serve to anticipate or mitigate complaints, claims, lawsuits or sanctions.

Francisca Barrientos.

Counselor Alessandri and Director of UAH Private Law Department.


Extracted from the website of Diario Financiero.