SIMI Standards

Buying a car is one of the major purchasing decisions we will make in our lifetime and cars play an essential part of most consumers' lives. When purchasing a vehicle from an SIMI member, we require all members to adhere to our code of ethics in their business practices. As a consumer you play a vital role to the life of a business and therefore every business strives to achieve customer satisfaction.

However disputes may sometimes arise after the purchase of a vehicle, or with issues relating to repairs or servicing problems. You should always address your grievances with the salesperson or dealer directly as many problems can be resolved at this level. Should you feel dissatisfied with the product or service rendered to you by an SIMI member, we offer a free Consumer Complaints Service (if the subject matter of the complaint falls within the scope of our service) or an Arbitration scheme. SIMI will attempt to mediate between the parties involve to resolve the issue.

Please ensure that you read the complete guidelines Customer Guidelines on the operation of the Consumer Complaints Service. above before registering your complaint.

Please note we are unable to provide consumer advice with regards your complaint and all communication must be in writing.

Please ensure that you read the complete guidelines hereunder before registering your complaint:

CUSTOMER GUIDELINES ON THE OPERATION OF THE CONSUMER COMPLAINTS SERVICE 2018

  • The Society’s Consumer Complaints Department mediates in disputes between member companies and their customers. The service is primarily through written correspondence. If a complaint cannot be resolved through mediation the SIMI Retail Motor Industry Standards Tribunal may be requested to recommend a settlement to the Company.
  • The Service is free and is only available to customers of SIMI member companies provided their complaint is within the scope of the service.
  • The Consumer Complaints Service operates a formal complaints resolution process. Formal notifications of complaints are sent to companies together with copies of relevant correspondence from complainants they have ten days to respond in writing to the Society. Complaints and responses to them must be in writing. Impolite references in written response to complaints should be scrupulously avoided. Responses should be factual and should be accompanied by supporting documentation. Responses may be forwarded to the Company for further observation.

  • Either of the parties involved may commission, at their own expense, an independent consultant engineer’s report which may be submitted as evidence.

  • Unless the company or customer notifies the Society in writing that the matter has been resolved, unresolved complaints are scheduled for referral to the SIMI Retail Motor Industry Standards Tribunal 14 days following notification.

  • The SIMI have worked to ensure the Tribunal is both independent and seen to be so. The Tribunal operates independently from the SIMI Offices although we provide the administrative support for them.

  • It is by this degree of independence and credibility that the SIMI Complaints System and Standards Tribunal can act as a genuine alternative to the Law Courts for consumers and can be recommended as such by State Agencies and Consumer Organizations.

  • The Independent Chairman is a retired Rights Commissioner with over 10 years’ experience in this role. The second member of the Tribunal is a Consumer representative while the third is a retail garage representative from the SIMI membership. Additional Industry experts in Sales, parts, service or repair works are also normally in attendance to support the Tribunal with technical clarifications.

  • The SIMI Retail Motor Industry Standards Tribunal is chaired by an independent Arbitrator and includes representatives of the motor industry and a leading consumer advocate.

  • Failure to resolve complaints following a Tribunal recommendation is regarded as a breach of the rules of membership of the Society and will be dealt with accordingly by the Management Board and the National Executive Council.


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SIMI Consumer Complaints Service

  • Before you lodge your complaint with SIMI you should contact the senior management of the company to which your complaint refers, with a view to resolving the matter.
  • SIMI can only deal with complaints relating to transactions with companies, which are in current membership of the Society. The Society’s Consumer Complaints Service mediates in disputes between member companies and their customers.
  • The Consumer Complaints Service deals with complaints relating to the purchase of vehicles and the service or repair of vehicles by retail member companies, except those relating to the condition or performance of the vehicle which is subject to a manufacturer’s warranty claim.
  • A complaint should be referred to the Society within 3 months from the date the cause of the complaint first manifested itself. The Society reserves the discretion to allow complaints to be dealt with through the Consumer Complaints Service if they are referred after 3 months from the date the cause of the complaint first manifested itself, if the circumstances justify the Society doing so.
  • Details of the complaint must be made in writing to the Society and accompanied by relevant supporting documents.
  • If the matter remains unresolved following mediation, it will be referred to the SIMI Retail Motor Industry Standards Tribunal. The Tribunal is chaired by an independent Arbitrator and includes representatives of the motor industry and a leading consumer advocate.
  • Recommendations of the Tribunal are binding on member companies.
  • A complaint which is the subject of legal proceedings falls outside the scope of the Society’s Consumer Complaints Service.