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Vehicle Repairers Face Red Tape Nightmare To Access Information

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) supports the intent but questions the administrative burden of the legislation introduced into Federal Parliament today intending to establish a mandatory scheme for the sharing of motor vehicle service and repair information.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said that the new regulations will require car repairers to demonstrate that they are eligible to access the information to each car company individually.

“Instead of supporting the service and repair industry to provide outstanding service to their customers, the legislation creates onerous administrative compliance checks at an annual estimated compliance cost of around $30 million.

“This is a red tape nightmare for everyone concerned. Repairers will have to make up to 60 separate annual applications to the car companies and other data providers. A simple change to the legislation could have made the process one application to prove eligibility to access information for all Australian car brands.

“Overnight, every car company in Australia will become a separate defacto ‘regulator’.

“I cannot see why car repairers would see it as a good use of their time and resources to prove to each car company separately that they are eligible to receive information. A much better cost-effective solution is to establish a single step to assess eligibility,” he said.

The legislation as drafted places the responsibility on each car company to check a range of information including proof that the repairer is seeking to carry on a service and repair business. In some cases, this process might include police checks.

“If these checks are not performed to a standard that is not fully defined yet, the car companies can face significant fines under the Competition and Consumer Act,” Mr Weber said.

“The legislation in its current form is inefficient, cumbersome, expensive and onerous for all parties,” Mr Weber said.

“Instead of focussing on the customer, this legislation will tie up the car companies and repairers in expensive and time-consuming compliance checks,” Mr Weber said.