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French consumers’ association wins against Toyota France

The French consumers’ association ‘UFC Que Choisir’ has recently won a court case against Toyota France, regarding the ‘general terms’ for the sale and warranty of Toyota cars, which were declared as improper.
On the 20th of March, in fact, the French ‘Cour de Cassation’ has delivered a final judgment (Ruling n°272) declaring improper the clauses of the general terms of sale and warranty provided by Toyota France.

The Court rejected and annulled the previous Court of Appeal’s ruling which was in favour of the vehicle manufacturers. The decision is consistent with the existing European legislation.

Mr. Samuel Tschannen, responsible for the automotive development at DIAG insurances and dealing with the independent network, made it clear that the text of such general terms was misleading, because it induced the consumer to think that he would lose his warranty for bringing his car to an independent garage.

On the other hand, the judgment acknowledged the entitlement for the manufacturer to oblige consumers to take their vehicle to a Toyota dealer or agent for repair work.
However, this was considered as acceptable ‘insofar as such a clause applied solely to repair work carried out under the regular warranty with the manufacturer providing repair work free of charge for the consumer’.
This provision is not new to the market and is legal because it is only related to the contractual warranty.

Next steps: following the Court’s decision, the misleading wording of the illegal clause has now to be deleted and Toyota France will have to change its sale contracts for its entire network.