Australian Automotive Dealer Association


18 December 2014



AADA wishes to set the record straight on the Agreement on Access to Service and Repair Information for Motor Vehicles 2014 (Agreement). The Agreement, which was signed by AADA and other organisations in Melbourne last Monday, was witnessed by the Minister for Small Business the Hon. Bruce Billson MP. He referred to the Agreement as ‘historic’ and mentioned that his ‘key focus has been has been to ensure consumers are provided with the right information to make informed decisions when it comes to the repair and servicing of their vehicles.’

Promoting consumer protection and choice has been at the forefront of the AADA’s agenda since its reinvigoration earlier this year. Of course, signing this latest Agreement has been a major part of fulfilling this pledge, however there seems to be confusion about what has changed.

In the case of the level of access independent repairers now have in obtaining information to correctly service the Australian fleet, little has changed. Independent repairers will continue to enjoy wide-spread access to repair information needed to service modern cars, for a reasonable cost with an improved Australian web based delivery system.

Minister for Small Business the Hon. Bruce Billson MP and AADA CEO Patrick Tessier.

Minister for Small Business the Hon. Bruce Billson MP and AADA CEO Patrick Tessier.

In the final report by the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC) in November 2012, limited and conflicting evidence was found concerning the difficulties associated with accessing specialised repair information for independents. What’s more, there did ‘not appear to be any systemic evidence of consumer detriment at present.’

As such, CCAAC recommended a wide-scale consultation and the development of an industry code to ensure continued consumer protection.

The recently signed Agreement reflects the CCAAC findings that access to service and repair information is available to independent operators and maintains competition in the aftermarket. In fact, the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) makes their extensive repair information available to all independent repairers in Australia. Their call centre currently answers 98 per cent of received technical enquires.

In what is a certain win for consumers, independent repairers must now disclose whether the parts being replaced in their vehicle are genuine (OEM recommended) or non-genuine (sourced from an independent manufacturer/supplier), as well as fit for purpose and compatible with the operating systems of the vehicle.

‘The consumer is now given a fully informed choice about the use of a non-genuine part which may not be compatible with the operating systems of a complex modern motor vehicle’ said AADA CEO Patrick Tessier.

‘This is a fair and practical outcome for consumers, who should not only have the right to choose where they service, but what kind of parts are being installed in their vehicles’ Mr Tessier said.

Since the release of the CCAAC report, AADA has continued to work with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and other key industry participants in the development of a Code of Practice and the Agreement.

The Agreement has 14 Principles and recognises that while dissemination of service and repair information is important, ensuring that the repair sector is proficiently trained and consistently updated with new skills/information is also critical. The parties to the Agreement also decided to implement a process to develop protocols relating to vehicle data and ownership.

The Agreement will be underpinned by codes of practice specific to each signing organisation and their members. The Agreement signed by AAA, AAAA, AMIF, AADA and FCAI gives the consumer a fully informed choice about the selection of a repairer and the parts to be used during servicing.

According to AADA Chairman, Ian Field, the AADA’s position has not changed.

‘Our desire to have an open dialogue with related industry associations and to develop a positive outcome for consumers remains as strong as ever. We’ve maintained that independents already have access to the information required to service the modern fleet and this has been cemented in the latest Agreement.

AADA will continue to work with the service and repair industries as well as roadside assistance organisations to ensure the safety of the Australian motoring public’ Mr Field said.

– ENDS –


For more information, contact:

Patrick Tessier, Chief Executive Officer
Australian Automotive Dealer Association
03 9576 9944 / 0412 685 857

Michael Deed, Policy Director
Australian Automotive Dealer Association
07 3237 8711 / 0417 742 956

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