With the recent fire accident involving BMW vehicles, the Fair Trade Commission has decided to introduce a class-action lawsuit system to enhance the effectiveness of consumer relief.
“The current law requires the consumer to prove if the product is defective, if it is life-threatening, or if the property is damaged. Because of this, consumers will have difficulty preparing for litigation and remedies,” said a senior official of the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on August 6th.
The senior official added, “The FTC concurred that the adoption of the class action lawsuit would increase the effectiveness of consumer damage relief.” A class action lawsuit is a system in which some of the victims are represented and sued if multiple people are harmed by corporate wrongdoings.
If the plaintiffs prevail, other victims who are not involved in the litigation can also be relieved without having to go through separate litigations. Class action lawsuits are currently being implemented in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. In 2005, South Korea was introduced to protect minority shareholders’ interests in the securities sector.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is expected to consult the FTC on ways to improve the existing automobile recall system and apply punitive damages. Punitive damages are systems that compensate much more than actual damages if the offender’s conduct is malicious and anti-social.
The introduction of punitive damages, which is widely enforces in the U.S. and the U.K., began to be applied to some laws, such as the Product Liability Act, in April, triggered by the disinfectant for humidifiers.
In addition, Decomcratic Party leader Hong Young-pyo insisted on punitive damages compensation at the in-house meeting, and park Sun-ja, a member of the National Land Transportation Committee, also said, “I will pursue measures to make car manufacturers more responsible, and will make sure to strengthen the compensation system.”