Johannesburg - The Retail Motor Industry Organisation has issued a warning to motorists not to be duped by repairers claiming to be RMI members, when in fact they are not.

RMI head Jakkie Olivier says the RMI is aware of several cases over the past 12 months where repairers have displayed RMI logos and insignia in their workshops, claiming to be members, to attract business.

To provide the consumer with motoring peace of mind, the RMI and its constituent associations have developed minimum industry standards that apply to facilities, tools, equipment and human resources. These are periodically audited and enforced.

“Once a business is accredited, it can display the insignia or logos of the RMI and the relevant association," Olivier explained. "When a business stops being a member in good standing, such as when it cancels its membership, or fails to meet the minimum requirements for accreditation, it is no longer permitted to display such insignia and logos.

"The RMI takes great care to ensure that members who proclaim to be accredited members, meet the minimum industry requirements as this protects the consumer.”

Unfortunately, he said, there have been some businesses that no longer qualify for accredited membership of the RMI but still display the insignia and logo.

The membership certificate and code of conduct should be on display in the workshop. Picture: RA Autos

Motor Industry Workshop Association chairman Dewald Ranft, says it too has encountered this issue.

“It was brought to our attention by an insurer who did a background check on a workshop and discovered that the workshop claiming to be a Miwa member wasn’t one," he said. "We took immediate action and the Miwa signage has since been removed.”

So, as a consumer how can you be sure that the repairer you are dealing with is a genuine MIWA or RMI member?

Ranft explained that when an RMI and MIWA member becomes a member they receive a certificate of membership as well as a code of conduct that includes a membership expiry sticker.

“The membership certificate and code of conduct should be on display in the workshop," he said. "You can check the expiry date on either of these. If they are not visible, you are within your rights to ask to see the certificate or code to verify if in fact they are current members.”

If you suspect that a workshop is fraudulently posing as a member, you are urged to contact the RMI or its association to report the workshop. Olivier recommends that motorists use the RMI’s website, www.rmi.org.za, or call any one of its offices.

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