INDEPENDENTS NOT COMPLYING WITH SERVICE AND REPAIR AGREEMENT?

Signatories to the Access to Service and Repair Information Agreement (Agreement) have discussed anecdotal evidence that independent repairers and body panel repair shops are not complying with Principle 3 of the Agreement, which states:

“The consumer is entitled to full information regarding the service and repair of their motor vehicle product. Consumers must be made aware, by their nominated repairer, of whether the part/s to be used in the mechanical and/or body repair and/or maintenance of the motors vehicle is genuine (OEM recommended) or non-genuine (sourced from independent manufacturer/supplier); fit-for-purpose; compatible with the operating systems of the recipient vehicle, and compliant with all regulatory requirements, including provisions of the Australian Consumer Law. This will help ensure that customers can make a fully informed choice about the work to be carried out, the parts to be used and whether those repairs or maintenance services meet OEM specifications.”

Comprising representatives of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), AADA, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF), the Steering Committee met at the end of March with Treasury officials also present.

The Committee also agreed to extend the timeframe for the reporting of progress in development of telematics protocols.

Each of the signatories provided a brief update on the implementation of their respective codes of practice. There was wide-ranging discussion over whether the codes had adequately operationalised the Agreement. Not all parties believed that service and repair information is being adequately shared and there was detailed discussion on how to address those issues.
It was agreed that evidence of failure should be presented to the Steering Committee in the first instance, so the relevant parties had an opportunity to address those concerns. It was also agreed that any such matters should be resolved in an agreed timeframe and that if they are unable to be resolved signatories can explore other dispute avenues spelled out in the Agreement.

There was some discussion on the Agreement’s requirement to have developed a process to develop protocols relating to vehicle telematics data access. It was noted that the National Transport Commission was doing some work in this area. Signatories agreed to raise the issue at the next Steering Committee meeting. It was acknowledged that the timeframe for the reporting of progress in development of telematics protocols within 12 months of commencement of the Agreement would not be met and was agreed to be extended.

The Committee will next meet before October 31.

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