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FIA answer to the Alternative Dispute Resolution consultation


Publication date: 17 March 2011


The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile brings together Touring and Automobile Clubs. In the European Union, our member Clubs have a combined membership of more than 35 million motorists. We are these motorists’ voice at European level.

If the Internal Market is to function properly with consumers circulating freely, consuming goods and services wherever, whenever and however they see fit across the European Union, then measures must be put in place that kick in when things go wrong and in particular when cross border disputes arise.

For many FIA clubs, helping their members resolve civil disputes is a key service offered to members. While resolution by judicial procedure offers the surest resolution of a dispute, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms can offer more efficient, cost effective and less stressful solutions (where it is not a case of personal injury or huge material damage) which depending on the situation and dispute can allow for the negotiation of a more tailored solution. FIA clubs play a dual role in the area of alternative dispute resolution. Many are recognised consumer organisations and thus form part of the national consumer networks that advise members on the available ADR options. Secondly, they can offer mediation and arbitration services as well. Activity tends to be focused on disputes arising out of a number of particular instances:

  • Traffic accidents (where there are no personal injuries),
  • Disputes arising while abroad
  • Commercial disputes between motorists and garages, suppliers where due to the long-term nature of the relationship efforts are made to negotiate solutions
    that will not permanently damage the relationship
  • Holiday cases
  • Rental contracts.

In some instances clubs operate their own quality assurance schemes e.g. (the AAA, USA for garages US wide) where participation and accreditation to the scheme by the garages and use by consumers is based on agreement to accept AAA as arbiter in the event of disputes and AAA decisions as final.

 

Download the FIA Contribution to the Consultation on ADR here.


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