Eye on the Industry

Right to Repair Findings on Track

The automotive industry commends the Productivity Commission’s ‘Right to Repair’ report recommendations.

However, consumers – and the businesses that serve them – require further consideration and protection assurances, says the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC).

One report recommendation relates to repair manuals, diagnostic software tools, and spare parts supply to the farm machinery sector.

“VACC supports the Productivity Commission’s recommendation, requiring manufacturers to provide access to repair information and diagnostic software tools to independent repairers. However, greater consideration should be taken if the intention is to also make them available to the farm machinery sector – with its increasingly complex systems,” said VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym.

The recommendation to enable a super complaints process – complementing the existing arrangements available to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – to identify and address INDUSTRYsystemic breaches of guarantees also raises concerns.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to consumer complaints may lead to frivolous claims from consumer groups targeting the automotive sector. VACC, along with its national body the Motor Trades Association of Australia, seeks assurances there will be adequate oversight and dialogue with industry if this recommendation is adopted,” said Mr Gwilym.

Overall, report recommendations further enhance consumer choice and guarantees. Motions include introducing a guarantee that manufacturers will provide software updates for a reasonable time, as well as an amendment of the Competition and Consumer Regulations to include new mandatory warranty text – enabling consumers to seek remedies under the Australian Consumer Law where they have not used authorised repairer services or spare parts.

Industry also welcomed recommended copyright amendments, aimed at improving access to embedded information necessary to diagnose and repair products.

“This issue applies to automotive, as vehicle manufacturers gravitate to over-the-air software updates and vehicle monitoring,” said Mr Gwilym.

For more information visit vacc.com.au

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