The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has joined other associations around the world to support the ‘right to repair movement’ by signing the new Global Vehicle Right to Repair Position Statement.
Described as “Best Practice Guidelines for Legislators”, the document lists 10 principles for developing a framework for right to repair legislation that any supporting country can use and adapt to their needs.
Additionally, the signatories believe that:
- Right to repair laws are fundamental to achieving fair and open competition and consumer choice in the vehicle service and repair industry.
- The practice of introducing voluntary codes or memoranda of understanding is not workable. These agreements between the automakers and independent repair sector have failed and investigations reveal that the failure is due to the significant imbalance of market and political power between the parties, perceived self-interest by manufacturers in controlling repair of vehicles, and no enforcement mechanisms to prosecute breaches of these agreements.
- The commercial interests at stake, and the profits that vehicle manufacturers derive from these methods, have resulted in a worldwide awareness that voluntary agreements do not work, and that formal intervention by government entities by way of legislation is required. This formal intervention must include a mandatory requirement to share service and repair information, diagnostic and repair tools, as well as repair software with the independent repair sector.
- Failure to make vehicle service and repair information, tools, and software available results in lack of competition, driving up the price vehicle repair and service for consumers, threatening to challenge the sustainability of the independent repair channel. Many would argue that a lack of access to safe, secure, and competitively priced vehicle services results in poor road safety and higher emissions outcomes.
While the Australian Motor Vehicle Information Scheme (MVIS) came into effect on 1 July 2022, the AAAA said more work needs to be done.
“We are now the only country in the world to have comprehensive legislation to protect consumers rights to fair and open competition,” said Stuart Charity, CEO of the AAAA.
“That legislation does not include access to information that is transmitted wirelessly from the vehicle to the car maker, all of which is not well known by drivers and not regulated by governments.
“Our law is the best in class, but even here in Australia we can see areas of improvement when the law is reviewed. We need to keep up with evolutions in technology that would limit owners right to choose and violate their privacy,” said Charity.
The full position statement can be read here.