Blue Mountains News
Labor to Lower Costs for Car Owners and Give Independent Mechanics a Fair Go
Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, said a Labor Government would stop unfair practices by vehicle manufacturers which prevent independent repairers from accessing data and diagnostic tools to service cars, which keeps prices artificially high for consumers, and locks small operators out of the repair market.
“We are sticking up for small businesses, local tradies and giving car owners the ability to choose their local mechanic when going for servicing and repairs,” Ms Templeman said.
“Right now, car owners are paying higher prices and independent car repairers are being frozen out of the market by unfair rules that allow vehicle manufacturers to keep their service and repair information a secret,” she said.
“No matter what car you own, you should have the freedom to choose where you get your car serviced,” Ms Templeman said. “And independent car mechanics should have the freedom to grow their businesses, and potentially generating more jobs."
Ms Templeman met with Andrew Hurst of Active Automotives in Blaxland who said his customers wanted to support local businesses.
“They don’t like feeling forced to go to the big dealerships,” Mr Hurst said.
“Some manufacturers do share data, but others don’t and that’s not fair to the customer who should have the right to choose where they go to service their car,” he said.
Ms Templeman said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has found that vehicle manufacturers who sell into the Australian market deliberately limit access to service and repair information for independent repairers.
“Access to technical information, such as fault codes and electronic data, held by car manufacturers is becoming increasingly important for servicing and repairing cars,” Ms Templeman said. “Real time access to digital files and codes (which vary from car to car) is needed to complete many aspects of a repair or service.”
“According to the ACCC, what happens now where the big car manufacturers keep their information secret, it has created an artificial monopoly.
“And that leads to two things: one is inflated prices of services and repairs at the dealer service centres and the other is small businesses being disadvantaged,” Ms Templeman said.
“Small business is the backbone of our economy, and we have to ensure that they can operate on a level playing field,” Ms Templeman said.
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