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EU Legislation Forces Bike Industry To Review Communication

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LUDWIGSBURG, Germany (January 9) – Since January 1, 2002 consumers are offered improved and harmonised legal protection against faulty goods including bicycles and its components. For a period of 24 months, that is four times longer than before in, for example Germany, the dealer is responsible for the delivered goods to conform with the sales […]

LUDWIGSBURG, Germany (January 9) – Since January 1, 2002 consumers are offered improved and harmonised legal protection against faulty goods including bicycles and its components. For a period of 24 months, that is four times longer than before in, for example Germany, the dealer is responsible for the delivered goods to conform with the sales contract. Catalogues, user manuals and even advertising in magazines are legally part of the sales contract. Information about the product characteristics will have to conform with the delivered product. If for example the weight of a bike is pointed out in a user manual or advertisement and the actual delivered bike weighs more, the product is considered faulty. In this case the consumer has the right to force its dealer to exchange components to meet the communicated weight – which could be quite costly and time intensive. Furthermore, the description of how the bicycle should be used and the photography of bikes in action must be according to the intended usage of the bike.
With regard to bicycle components, for instance brake pads, they will reach the end of their life span before the end of the two years warranty. For manufacturers or dealers it is not possible to exclude these parts from the new guarantee. It is also not allowed to refuse guarantee if the bike wasn’t checked regularly at the dealer. To avoid customers run into the shops and think the worn out part is faulty, a definition of normal wear has to be made for all relevant components. This kind of information is to be included in user manuals. which are compulsory since a number of years. However, there are this moment only a few bike makers in Europe are offering ones that fit the new regulations. Since the start of 2002 a missing or incorrect user manual turns the bike into a faulty product right after delivery to the consumer. More in Bike Europe’s January edition (publication date January 25). (DZ)

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