Consumers must be made aware if non-genuine parts are being fitted to their cars during servicing, and the AADA continues to wait and see how this will be managed.
Since the signing of the Agreement on Access to Service and Repair Information for Motor Vehicles 2014 (Agreement) in December witnessed by the Hon Bruce Billson MP, Minister for Small Business, AADA has watched in anticipation for how the aftermarket and insurance industries will ensure consumers are made aware about non-genuine, recycled and counterfeit parts.
Through signing the Agreement, all parties, including the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), Australian Automobile Association (AAA), and Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF) agreed that independent repairers must disclose whether they’re fitting genuine (OEM recommended) or non-genuine (sourced from an independent supplier) parts in the cars they service and repair.
Though they may sometimes be cheaper to install, non-genuine parts can be questionable when it comes to quality and compliance. As such, it’s now agreed that consumers have a right to know and choose where the parts installed in their cars come from.
At this stage, AADA is still unaware what actions aftermarket and other related associations are taking to ensure their members (repairers, suppliers, motoring clubs etc.) adhere to this new requirement.
Recently, AADA also raised important questions about the fitting of non-genuine parts to damaged motor vehicles repaired through insurance companies.
All insurance companies should have in place an effective process which makes their contractors aware of the specific warranty on vehicles they repair.
Because of the diverse range of vehicles and warranties in Australia, vague terms in Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) like ‘standard manufacturer warranty’ don’t adequately cover the differing number of ‘standard’ years and kilometres included in OEM warranties.
Then there are variables like extended warranties, which are often not taken into account.
In all cases, repairers need to be aware when a vehicle is truly out of warranty and a system must be in place to inform customers if non-genuine/recycled/counterfeit parts could be fitted.
As part of the Agreement signed in December, all major parties, including the AADA are required to implement a Code of Practice, that is, written guidelines to help members comply with the ethical standards set out in the Agreement.
AADA’s own Code of Practice is on its website. It is hoped that the Code released from the aftermarket and other associations will shed more light on their plans for giving consumers the right to choose where their vehicle parts are derived from.
In the meantime, AADA will continue to follow and report on this issue.