FCAI members have, for many years, provided independent repairers with access to automotive service and repair information. This fact is reflected in the findings of a 2012 Treasury review, which found that there is no evidence of consumer detriment relating to access to service and repair information in the automotive industry.
The Treasury recommended the development of an approach that would ensure access to repair information would not become an issue in the future. This outcome has been achieved through the publication of the FCAI’s Voluntary Code of Practice relating to Access to Service and Repair Information. This represents a minimum standard for the provision of service and repair information to independent repairers, by car manufacturers selling vehicles in Australia. Further to this, the FCAI continues to work with other relevant industry associations to develop an overarching principles agreement for this and other consumer-focussed matters, which we are firmly committed to finalising.
Despite some assertions in the media, a wide range of car manufacturers already provide the minimum information referred to above, and more, to a range of independent repairers. The FCAI’s Code of Practice ensures this will continue into the future as vehicles become more complex
Just as consumers protect their personal information on computers and smartphones, the code allows automakers to protect customers from the release of important vehicle information related to safety, security, legal and other matters. This part of the code is an important safeguard for vehicle owners as the technology in vehicles rapidly advances.
For example, the Code allows automakers to help customers protect their vehicles from theft by restricting access to the security codes that would allow any person who purchases the information to access a vehicle. Also, information that an automaker is prohibited from disclosing under any law, including privacy laws, will not be made publicly available.
Australian consumers have the right to choose where they service and repair their motor vehicle, and to expect that systems, such as critical safety systems, will be serviced without putting drivers and other road users at risk. The FCAI has released its Code to give consumers confidence that their car is, and will continue to be, serviced appropriately by independent repairers who invest in the tools, training and information required for their vehicle.
According to the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, independent repairers are able to receive the necessary information 98 percent of the time. In responding to the Treasury review and our Code, the FCAI is helping to make it easier for independent repairers to access service and repair information by establishing a portal that will link to the information of all members signatory to the Code.
All Australians deserve to have their vehicle serviced and repaired to a professional standard, which maintains the original integrity of the vehicle. That is why the FCAI continues to work with the independent service and repair industry to ensure the safety of all Australian road users.
For more information, contact:
Sheena Ireland, Communications Manager
02 6229 8221 / 0458 038 555