The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) says federal Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar has announced that draft legislation requiring car companies to share all motor vehicle service and repair information (data sharing) is just “weeks away”.
According to the AAAA, Sukkar told the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association Industry Leaders Forum that the data sharing issue has been subject to considerable and lengthy consultation for almost a decade, meaning there won’t be a lengthy consultation period before the legislation goes before Parliament.
Stuart Charity, CEO of the AAAA, said Sukkar’s comments were “a game changer” for the 30,000 independent repairers and the 150,000 technicians in Australia servicing vehicles.
“It has been a long 10-year battle involving literally hundreds of meetings with politicians from all sides, as well as two major inquiries and an 18-month ACCC investigation with two rounds of extensive stakeholder consultation,” said Charity. “This is a landmark decision. It means consumers will not be forced to get their car serviced at a car company dealership. We are incredibly grateful to the minister for getting this done. He just got it right from the beginning.
“No car owner should be forced to take the car back to a dealer because the car manufacturers have artificially manipulated the market by withholding software updates and reinitialisation codes,” added Charity.
Geoff Gwilym, CEO of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), said fair access to motor vehicle service and repair information from car manufacturers “is only right”.
“This development is a major win for the independent businesses that keep Australia moving, and means we are one step closer to being able to better serve motorists,” said Gwilym. “Australia’s industry bodies have fought long and hard for a more even playing field for independent repairers when it comes to access to service and repair information, and this is a big step in the right direction.”
MTAA CEO Richard Dudley welcomed the news, saying: “There have been significant challenges and complexities in addressing this issue, [along with] potential solutions and the design and development of the legislation. However, the outcome is potentially world-leading.”
The AAAA says Sukkar also used the event to announce funding of $250,000 to assist a new industry body that will support the law with dispute resolution, information and education. The organisation will have representation from the AAAA, the Motor Trades Association of Australia, the Australian Automotive Dealer Association, the Australian Automobile Association, and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.