Australians will be able to turn to their own trusted mechanic and will no longer be forced to get repairs from new car dealers under laws passed by the federal parliament today.
The new laws will force new car manufacturers to offer the same diagnostic, repair and servicing information they give to their own dealers, to third party repairers which they can buy at fair market price.
"Today the Australian Parliament has torn down the new car repair monopoly," says Alison Elliott, Consumer Rights Expert at CHOICE.
"When your car needs fixing, it should be your choice as to who repairs it. The complicated nature of modern car design means many manufacturers have locked out third party repairers from helping people because they have not had access to the information necessary to fix new cars. Whether you trust your local mechanic or the original car dealer more, the choice should be yours," says Elliott.
Competition and Consumer Amendment (Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Information Sharing Scheme) Bill 2021
- A study on the new car retailing industry conducted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in 2017 concluded that voluntary methods of information sharing had not been effective.
- The scheme will mandate that all service and repair information that car manufacturers share with their dealership networks must also be made available to all independent repairers and registered trading organisations to purchase.
"The Government has leveled the playing field for repairers of new cars. This means that Australians can once again have access to independent vehicle repairers and know that the repairer has access to the information they need to ensure that the repair will be effective and safe," says Elliott.
The laws will come into effect on 1 July 2022.
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