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FCAI notes further vehicle maintenance now permitted at dealerships

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, the peak body for the automotive industry in Australia, has today noted an update from the Victorian Government regarding what is permitted for vehicle maintenance in metropolitan Melbourne under the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The Government’s website, now states that “routine vehicle maintenance” is permitted “where it is required to maintain the health and safety of Victorians at home or at work.”

The FCAI has welcomed the update, noting the importance of routine maintenance for today’s technologically sophisticated motor vehicles.

Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, said this was good news for anxious motorists.

“A number of motorists have expressed concern that their vehicle is months overdue for service due to the current COVID-19 Restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne.

“Automotive brands usually stipulate regular servicing intervals for all new vehicles to ensure the car or motorcycle is in optimal operating condition and to enhance the protection of the driver and occupants.

“From a safety perspective, it can be important to confirm that not just the mechanical components, such as brakes, steering and tyres, are in tip-top condition. Computing and electrical systems, such as the vehicle operating system, must also be regularly checked.

Mr Weber added that, since the beginning of COVID-19 restrictions, automotive brands and their dealerships have initiated comprehensive and thorough COVIDSafe conditions in their facilities to ensure the ongoing protection and safety of staff and customers.

“Vehicle and motorcycle dealerships have a large footprint and are sparsely populated. The Service areas of dealerships often have the ability to allocate a single bay to each technician. Personal distancing in the service area is generally easily achievable.

“Most importantly, brands have comprehensive COVIDSafe plans and contact tracing for the various areas of their operations, addressing different scenarios that may arise,” Mr Weber said.

An excerpt from the Government website is below. The link to the notification is here:

Can routine vehicle maintenance be performed by automotive garages?

Routine maintenance (i.e. logbook or scheduled maintenance) is permitted as a standalone service for safety purposes only, including for repairs and product recalls. Under the current guidance, automotive, machinery and equipment repair and maintenance are permitted to operate:

  • where service providers are providing support to a permitted service or industry or
  • where it is required to maintain the health and safety of Victorians at home or at work (e.g. routine maintenance, vehicle repairs and critical maintenance including disinfection). 

Can motorists travel outside the 5km radius to access car servicing under First and Second Step restrictions?

If the nearest mechanic is more than 5km from your home, or if your vehicle requires a specialist and/or brand-specific workplace in order to complete repairs, you may travel outside the 5km zone to access these services.