KBA acts as Market Surveillance authority in the context of technical defects of vehicles on the basis of the Produktsicherheitsgesetz (ProdSG). The ProdSG regulates the responsibilities and powers of the market surveillance authorities, whose task it is to ascertain risks arising from the use of a product. It comprises measures, which can be taken towards a Manufacturer, in order to eliminate risks.
The responsibility for a product placed on the market lies firstly with the Manufacturer. The Manufacturer, responsible for the product, must ensure that the product does not put the health and safety of persons at risk in its intended or foreseeable use (Article 3(2) ProdSG). For this purpose, they must observe their products on the market and check possible complaints from their customers and messages about defects from its workshops.
If a Manufacturer receives notification about a serial defect in their products from which a risk for users and/or third parties is to be expected, they must take measures, to eliminate these risks (Article 6 ProdSG) and inform the responsible Market Surveillance authority about it, KBA in this case (Article 6 ProdSG). For vehicles, such a measure normally comprises the request to the vehicle owner to present the vehicle in question for reworking in an authorised workshop of the manufacturer.
The vehicle manufacturers normally receive notifications about possible serial defects in their vehicles very early, from production and the workshops, due to their product monitoring obligation, described above. The great majority of recall actions are therefore initiated by the product-responsible Manufacturers themselves. The recall actions are accompanied by KBA and the success of the measure is, if necessary, ensured with supplementary measures by the authority.
In addition to this, KBA checks concrete notifications for a possible serial defect, which it receives from another source (e.g. press, police or vehicle owners), in order to ascertain whether the requirements for the provision of products on the market according to Article 3 ProdSG are being adhered to.
For this purpose, KBA normally initiates an investigation against the Manufacturer respon-sible for the product, in order to receive the statements and information necessary for the performance of the tasks.
If KBA has the justified suspicion that a vehicle or a vehicle part does not fulfil the abovenamed requirements, it takes the necessary measures. These can for example include further distribution or the imposed recall of a product or even a warning of the public.