Labor is driving a better deal to put more money back into the pockets of car owners and give 23,000 independent repairers a boost – with a plan to make car manufacturers share their technical information so that vehicles can be serviced by any mechanic.
New cars are computers on wheels. 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. Car manufacturers generally own and control this technical information and in many cases are the only sources.
Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann MP, said whether you own Toyota, Ford, Holden or other make of motor vehicle, everyone should be able to choose where they get their car serviced.
“Car manufacturers’ protection racket on this information pushes up prices for car services, and limits the ability of independent mechanics in our region to grow their business and generate more jobs.”
A Shorten Labor Government will require car manufacturers to share technical information with independent mechanics on commercially fair and reasonable terms, with safeguards that enable environmental, safety and security-related technical information to be shared with the independent sector.
This reform will not only deliver savings to drivers, who will have better choice and easier access to repairs, but also create a level playing field for independent mechanics who will be able to stay in business as a result.
“We’re sticking up for small businesses like Kinanne’s Car Clinic in West Ipswich, which keeps the cost of living down for local families,” Mr Neumann said.
Owner and Director of Kinanne’s Car Clinic, Greg Kinanne, said that obtaining manufacturer’s parts and instructions was a continuous obstacle to his business’s operation.
Mr Kinnane said the move to make technical information available to all dealers would ensure that outside their car’s warranty people will have more choice in who looks after their car.
Labor has long been calling for independent mechanics to get access to the same technical information which car manufacturers make available to their authorised dealers and preferred repairer networks.
Five months ago the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission backed Labor’s recommendations to ensure Australia’s new car retailing industry isn’t shutting out independent mechanics and forcing up prices for motorists.
Independent mechanics have been going to the wall while the Turnbull Government sat on its hands – there’s no reason that this reform shouldn’t happen straight away.
“Labor understands it’s your car and it should be your choice where it gets repaired – our plan will deliver money to the household budget and give local mechanics a boost to their business” Mr Neumann said.