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April 24, 2017

Korean regulator wants ‘unfair’ importer practices revised

South Korea's antitrust regulator wants local units of foreign cars and dealerships to revise their 'unfair policies' on refund and maintenance services to their customers.

South Korea's antitrust regulator wants local units of foreign cars and dealerships to revise their 'unfair policies' on refund and maintenance services to their customers.

The Yonhap news agency said the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has looked into provisions and clauses of 13 businesses and discovered unfair terms that restrict the cancellation of contracts, refunds and the use of maintenance service coupons.

The report said that five companies including Mercedes-Benz Korea, Jaguar Land Rover Korea Co., and Nissan Korea Co. had provisions that kept clients from scrapping their purchase contracts and getting a refund.

The report added that three firms, including Audi Volkswagen Korea, did not return money to customers who had free maintenance coupons that had already expired, while four businesses prohibited clients from selling their coupons.

"We expected that the revision will help reduce disputes over contract cancellations and refunds in imported car purchases," the FTC said in a release.

The imported car market in South Korea has been seen rising demand for luxury European cars.

Yonhap notes that sales of imported cars in South Korea jumped 24.2 percent to 243,900 in 2015 but fell slightly to 225,279 in 2016 due mainly to Volkswagen's emissions scandal. 

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