In a landmark day for the Australian vehicle service and repair industry, the Australian Government has announced they will introduce a mandatory data sharing law.
To ensure fair competition for small businesses and consumers a mandatory data sharing law will ensure independent workshops have access to all motor vehicle service and repair information at a fair price. This law will provide a level playing field in the sector and allow consumers to have their vehicle safely repaired by the repairer of their choice.
The announcement is also a huge moment for the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) who has long championed the Choice of Repairer campaign on behalf of their members and the wider industry.
“This is an incredible result for our members, who came to us with their concerns, put competitive rivalries aside and fought alongside us to have the law changed for their customers, their businesses and the wider industry,” said Stuart Charity, CEO of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association.
“It is also an important win for consumers. Our Choice of Repairer campaign has sought to increase community awareness around consumers right to choose their repairer, and their new car warranty and servicing rights.”
“This announcement has been a long road and is the culmination of tireless work by the AAAA team to push for Government action to address this important competition issue. We have personally met with over 75 Federal MP’s, facilitated hundreds of workshop visits by MP’s all around the country and had countless early morning and late-night discussions with Ministers and other industry stakeholders.”
“This has been an industry wide effort and I would like to acknowledge the invaluable role played by automotive industry associations - Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA), Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA), Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), Australian Automobile Association (AAA), and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).”
“I’d like to personally thank the Assistant Treasurer Hon. Michael Sukkar for his leadership on this issue and commitment to introduce a mandatory data sharing law that will benefit small businesses in the automotive service industry as well as every Australian car owner.”
“We look forward to seeing progress on an exposure draft and we will review every word to ensure that car manufacturers are not able to wriggle though any loopholes that would prevent or restrict consumer choice and ultimately harm competition,” said Stuart.
MTA welcomes fair and equitable access to motor vehicle service and repair information through a new mandatory data sharing law
The MTA has welcomed the Federal Government's decision to introduce a new mandatory data sharing law. MTA SA CEO Paul Unerkov said, “This is a big step forward from the Government, recommitting to mandate a data sharing scheme for the benefit of consumers with potential for an industry-led body to assist the Government with administering the scheme.
“Once implemented in primary legislation, the law will provide flexibility in its design and will also remove grey areas in the current voluntary data sharing arrangements within the automotive industry by explicitly setting out a list of vehicle safety, security and environmental information to be shared amongst manufacturers and automotive repairers.
“I thank the Federal Assistant Treasurer, the Hon. Michael Sukkar MP and Treasury Department Officials for making progress on a mandated law and look forward the detail of the policy and a timeline of implementation.
“We are committed to continuing to work with the Federal Government to have the appropriate legislation passed, ensuring that this new law works for the benefit of consumers and the whole automotive industry.”
VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym said: “VACC, along with its national body the Motor Trades Association of Australia, worked hard to gather insights and case examples from businesses, including independent repairers, new-car franchised dealers, motor body repairers, and dismantlers and recyclers, on how restricted access to critical vehicle manufacturer service and repair information hampers consumer choice and contributes to an uncompetitive and unfair playing field,” said Gwilym said. "VACC, over a long period of time, also arranged business and workshop visits for many parliamentarians and stakeholders, analysed international jurisdictions, and engaged experts from the USA to assist in preparing a draft Code of Conduct.
Through MTAA, VACC facilitated an industry Heads of Agreement, and provided comprehensive submissions to parliamentary inquiries and investigations by government departments, agencies and regulators, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), of the need for stronger government intervention.
“VACC congratulates Minister Sukkar on his leadership in finalising government’s response to this critical issue and in addressing a recommendation of the ACCC for a mandated and prescribed scheme,” Gwilym said.
VACC acknowledges the work of MTAA and the commitment of other peak automotive organisations for their contributions to the decision: Australian Automobile Dealers Association; Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association; Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries; and Australian Automobile Association.
“The industry has committed to working with government and each other to finalise input into legislation and the Australian automotive sector’s role in making the new law work,” said Gwilym.