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What is the Automotive Dispute Resolution Center?

The automobile is a useful device that makes everyday life more comfortable, pleasurable and productive. But like any industrial product, it is imperfect and can break down. Some unforeseen defects may even lead to accidents. The negotiations for the compensation of damages from the accident are quite difficult to overcome. One may consider "how and with whom to negotiate", "from where to seek expert who could advice on technical or legal matters", "the overhanging prospect of a lawsuit which can be expensive, time-consuming and cumbersome", etc. This is where the Automotive Dispute Resolution Center (hereinafter referred to as the 'ADRC') comes into play. ADRC is a public interest incorporated foundation which helps to resolve "disputes arising from accidents caused by defective products" and "disputes relating to product quality". We are a fair and neutral 'Alternative Dispute Resolution Organization' dedicated to dispute settlement outside of the court system. The ADRC provides dispute resolution services on disputes arising not only from defects in automobiles but also from defects in motorcycles, optional equipment, service parts and accessories.

The ADRC provides primarily three types of services.
(1) CONSULTATION: The consulting staff provides advice about negotiation and settlement.
(2) CONCILIATION: The ADRC-contracted attorneys endeavor to settle the disputes from a fair and neutral standpoint.
(3) EXAMINATION (=CONCILIATION BY EXPAERT COMMITTEE): The examination committee consisting of professor of law, professor of automotive engineering, attorney and consumer affairs expert, inquires about the disputes, try to settle them, and/or provides a legal/technical judgment to the parties in disputes.

On November 5, 2007, the ADRC became a "Certified Alternative Dispute Resolution Center", through acquisition of a certificate from the Minister of Justice, as stipulated under the Act on Promotion of Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Owing to this certification, Conciliation and Examination achieved at the ADRC can interrupt the prescription or suspend the ongoing court proceeding for the benefit of the service users, once some legal requirements are satisfied.

The ADRC provides the above (2) Conciliation and/or (3) Examination services only when both disputing parties agree to receive them.
Services (1) Consultation and (2) Conciliation are available free of charge, while each party is charged JPY 5,000 for service (3) Examination.
ADRC services are available only to parties who are communicating from inside of Japan and using Japanese language.