Transparency request on motor vehicle repairs

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Tom ZaunmayrMidwest Times
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WA Nationals federal senate candidate Nick Fardell.
Camera IconWA Nationals federal senate candidate Nick Fardell. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

New laws compelling manufacturers to release information about how to maintain motor vehicles are on the cards as the Federal Government seeks to follow the US’ lead in repair transparency.

Federal Treasury has released a consultation paper proposing mandatory sharing of motor vehicle servicing and repair information between manufacturers and anyone requesting access.

Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association chief executive Stuart Charity said the Government needed to stop holding inquiries and implement a mandatory code urgently.

“We welcome the steps forward that the Government has made in moving towards the establishment of a mandatory code under the Competition and Consumer Act for the sharing of vehicle data with Australia’s independent repairers by releasing this detailed consultation paper,” he said.

“We are concerned about the language used throughout the consultation paper that relate to exclusions and restrictions that may be included in a mandatory code.

“Of course, there will need to be safeguards in place to protect the security and integrity of vehicle related data. However, vehicle security should not be used as an excuse by car companies to withhold critical information required to complete a vehicle repair or service.”

WA Nationals Senate candidate Nick Fardell said the move was a good start, but did not reach far enough.

“This issue is having a significant impact on agricultural production, with farmers often having to wait for authorised repair agents to travel from distant centres to fix faulty machinery, instead of being able to use their local provider,” he said.

“While I congratulate the Federal Government on releasing the consultation paper, I urge them to include IT devices and agricultural machinery in any right to repair legislation and, if elected, I will be lobbying hard to ensure this happens.”

The Nationals moved a motion at the party’s 2018 State Conference calling on introduction of right to repair legislation.

The Federal Government is aiming to have a scheme implemented this year.

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