6th July, 2022 ยท CEO Message

CEO Message No. 77

2 minutes to read

On 1 July, a new law came into force which compels vehicle Manufacturers to make service and repair information available to independent repairers. This is the culmination of a campaign which has been taking place for more than a decade often pitting Franchised New Car Dealers and OEMs against independent repairers who have pushed strongly for this law on the grounds that it was good for the consumer. Over time the AADA has softened its opposition, chiefly because it is something that now enjoys bi-partisan support in Canberra and because our members are confident that they still retain a compelling value and service proposition for consumers.

It became increasingly clear that Australia would follow other global markets in allowing access to service and repair information. As a result, we made a key decision to remain strongly engaged in the development of the legislation to ensure that the scheme that was put in place is fit for purpose and recognised the significant investment Dealers make in tools, equipment, people and training. This required close cooperation between AADA and other automotive industry groups to the extent that a new body known as AASRA has been formed. AASRA is made up of representatives of the AADA, FCAI, AAAA and the MTAA and its chief task is to assist with the implementation of the information sharing scheme.

AADA Chief Operating Officer, Brian Savage, is a Director of the AASRA Board and with his fellow Board members has been working around the clock to ensure that industry is prepared for the new legislation.

I often get Dealers contacting me and questioning the need for this legislation and I must admit that I share their concerns. In response, I usually make the following points.

  • This information is not free – independent repairers will need to purchase this information at a fair and reasonable price.
  • Independent repairers will need to undergo fit and proper person checks and demonstrate that they are part of a legitimate repair business.
  • Certain types of information will be restricted – safety and security information will require demonstration of high level credentials.
  • Dealers are increasingly competitive on price and are unmatched on tools, equipment, resources and factory training.
  • There are 20 million registered vehicles in Australia – too many for Dealers to service on their own.

The AADA never pushed for these regulations, but they are here to stay and we are committed to ensuring they are applied in a way that is fair and reasonable. The only way to do that is to stay involved in the process, to stay committed to AASRA, and work in good faith with the rest of the industry.