A federal court judge in Sao Paulo has decided that the mandatory anti-theft systems proposed by the Brazilian government are still illegal, and that changes made following his initial rejection of the mandate in April 2009 were insufficient.
One of the judge’s primary objections is that the mandate is a violation of consumer law. Specifically, all consumers purchasing a new vehicle in Brazil would be forced to buy a product that they may not want (referring to the telematics hardware necessary for the remote immobilisation and tracking functions) because these functions are integrated in the same physical unit as the local immobiliser.
In essence, the judge wants the telematics hardware to be optional equipment, so owners will have the choice whether to buy this device or not.
The government will appeal this decision because it would require a significant change to the legislation to accommodate the judge’s requests.
However, the government seems determined to progress its six-month trial period to verify systems operate as intended. This Assisted Operation period may continue as planned, but this latest legal setback casts doubt over the announced February 2010 introduction date, even if the governments’ appeal is successful.