Flagged data sharing legislation good news for auto repairers
Flagged Government legislation that would make it easier for small business car repairers to service the latest model vehicles has been welcomed by the Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.
Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar announced this week that the Coalition would introduce legislation to implement a “mandatory information sharing scheme for motor vehicle service and repairs".
The scheme was the subject of a Treasury consultation process held earlier this year and follows ongoing complaints from independent mechanics who have been unable to access essential technical information about new model vehicles at a fair and reasonable cost.
“This has been an issue raised by mum and dad businesses in my electorate and around the nation who have been blocked from working on new vehicles by manufacturers refusing to release the necessary information for working on today’s computerised vehicles,” Rebekha said.
“These are local mechanics struggling to stay in business while the big car manufacturers are monopolising their technical information in order to lock vehicle owners into their own ‘authorised’ service centres at often over-inflated prices.
“Just this month I submitted questions in writing to the Assistant Treasurer in order to seek more information about the Mandatory Scheme for the Sharing of Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Information consultation paper and what the Government planned to do about the scheme.
“We know from Australian Competition and Consumer Commission information that this stranglehold on vehicle data has been costing Australian drivers over one billion dollars a year while consultation with industry continues.
“I welcome the Government’s announcement that it will introduce legislation but this needs to be sooner rather than later.
“It certainly shouldn’t be delayed by the establishment of an industry-led body to assist the administration of the scheme.”
Dean Maul-Dunn, the Director of D&D Mechanical & 4WD in Goolwa, was one of a group of local repairers who met with Rebekha last year to discuss the urgent need for a mandatory data sharing code.
“The news release regarding a mandatory information sharing scheme for the automotive industry is very welcome, considering the time taken to reach this conclusion, which has been quite a drawn out process,” Mr Maul-Dunn said.
“We thank Rebekha Sharkie MP for her diligence. We are grateful for her lobbying and for maintaining the pressure on the Federal Government to reach a positive outcome for all of the small business automotive repairers in Australia.
“Mandatory information sharing will certainly make servicing and repairs an easier process into the future.”