Motor Industry Ombudsman offers uniquely focused service

The office of the Motor Industry Ombudsman (MIO) offers motorists a uniquely focused and totally free service in resolving disputes that arise between them and the motor trade.

“The sole duty of this office is to handle such problems in a totally independent fashion and both the motorist and the motor dealer or company are bound to abide by the decision of the ombudsman,” says Johan van Vreden, ombudsman for the motor industry.

“There are a number of trade associations within the motor industry that also offer customers a conflict resolution service. This service is but one of many services that they offer to their membership which consists of operators in the industry. Major services they render consist of wage negotiations with unions, the handling of pension and sick fund administration and keeping their membership abreast of and advising them on issues such as new laws like the National Credit Act and BEE requirements.

“Obviously the first responsibility of these associations is to the general welfare of their membership. Vehicle owner satisfaction is not their major focus.

“Another important difference between the MIO and trade associations is that the latter require customers with unresolved complaints to pay a fee for their service, while the service rendered by the ombudsman’s office is completely free.”

Though the ombudsman’s office is funded by the motor companies, they are contractually bound to abide by the decisions of the ombudsman in all situations.

“We stay in close contact with NAAMSA and they have responded very positively to the service rendered by our office,” says Van Vreden.

The Motor Industry Ombudsman of SA can be contacted on (012) 841-2945 or fax your complaint to (012) 841-2842. You can also visit the MIO’s website at, or e-mail your complaint to