In collaboration with Minister of work, economy and consumers Kris Peeters, Febiac and Traxio drafted a code of conduct (NL/FR) for communication on recalls and software updates related to cars (private cars, minibus, campers and light commercial vehicles), in addition to the existing legal requirements.

The code of conduct is addressed to car manufacturers, importers, car dealers and service centres. The goal is to ensure open and transparent communication towards the concerned car owners.

Recommendations for car manufacturers and importers

In the event of a recall, the importer or car manufacturer sends a personalized communication to all owners of the car type(s) concerned, detailing the reasons for the recall (safety or conformity issue) in an easily understandable manner. The communication must also explicitly mention that the ensuing intervention is free of charge for the vehicle owner. It should also mention that any refusal to respond to the recall will be noted in the Car Pass of the vehicle.

When organising a recall importers and car manufacturers should take into account the Corrective Action Guide published by Prosafe. Yet, importers and car manufacturers can choose to implement alternative but equivalent measures, but they will have to inform and demonstrate equivalence to the FPS Economy (comply or explain).

In the event of a software update, the owners of the cars are informed by the importer or car manufacturer preferably through digital means. The communication should contain in a convenient way the reference of the update, the moment it is scheduled, a comprehensive description of the envisaged changes (if in the frame of a recall, it should indicate whether it is for reasons of safety or conformity), whether there are any charges due and the concerned car types.

Recommendations for car dealers and service centres

In the event of a recall, car dealers and service centres shall inform the customer at the latter’s request about the recall action based on the information received from the car manufacturer or importer.

The customer’s signature on a document drafted in the frame of the recall intervention only indicates the customer’s confirmation that he/she was informed about the intervention or agrees with the intervention requested by the car manufacturer or importer.

If the customer refuses to have the recall executed, this must be mentioned in the Car Pass of the vehicle. The car dealer or service centres will try to obtain written confirmation of the customer that he is informed of this fact, or note the customer’s refusal to confirm this in writing.

In the event of a software update requested by the customer, car dealers and service centres shall inform the customer at the latter’s request about the envisaged update prior to the execution. The invoice should indicate that the software update was performed at the customer’s request.