AAAA welcomes consultation paper on sharing vehicle data

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has welcomes the Federal Government’s Consultation Paper relating to the introduction of a Mandatory Scheme for the Sharing of Vehicle Service and Repair information between car companies and Australia’s 23,000 independent automotive repair businesses.

The AAAA and its members have anticipated the release of this Consultation Paper since the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommended that the Government mandate the sharing of vehicle data between multinational car companies and Australia’s independent repairers following a comprehensive industry study that was completed in December 2017.

While supporting the Federal Government’s move towards the establishment of a mandatory code for vehicle data sharing, the AAAA warns that some aspects of this Consultation Paper are inconsistent with the ACCC’s findings.

“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. These terms were not used in the ACCC Final Report and if they are included in the final code, we have no doubt that car companies will fully exploit this by linking all required information to either security, safety or emissions and in reality nothing will have changed for consumers,” said AAAA Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Charity.

The Consultation Paper also refers to vehicle manufacturers potentially being able to determine the appropriate level of investment by independent workshops in order to receive access to service and repair data. It is the firm belief of the AAAA that this will provide vehicle manufacturers with the ability to charge exorbitant fees for information, special tools, training and equipment and is completely unworkable in a market which has over 74 different car brands on sale. All this will achieve is higher servicing and repair costs for Australian consumers, defeating the entire purpose of establishing a mandatory code, the AAAA pointed out.

“The AAAA will participate constructively in this Consultation process as it is a step in the right direction. However we believe that after two separate Government Inquiries on this matter and over eight years of consultation, it is now time for the Government to build on the ACCC’s findings and recommendations and implement a Mandatory Code as a matter of urgency,” Charity said.

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.