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Published on March 26th 2021 in

New legislation to improve consumer choice and competition

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) and the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) has welcomed the introduction into the Australian Parliament, world-leading legislation to mandate access to motor vehicle service and repair information.

The legislation fulfils a government election commitment to act on a recommendation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for a mandatory scheme, compelling car manufacturers to share technical service and repair information with all Australian repairers.

AAAA CEO Stuart Charity, and MTAA CEO Richard Dudley, say the legislation is ground-breaking. It captures and improves the critical elements of existing international legislation and regulation, provides an Australian market-based legislative solution with operational guidance and the automotive sector’s ongoing involvement.

“The ACCC Market Study into New Car Retailing confirmed a market failure requiring government intervention to ensure consumer choice and competition,” said Charity.

“AAAA and MTAA advocated solutions to address a clear power imbalance that prevented fair and equitable competition because car manufacturers withheld critical motor vehicle service and repair information. Withholding information created barriers to consumers exercising their right to choose a repairer, and for professional qualified mechanics and repairers, the ability to complete a repair,” he added.

MTAA CEO Richard Dudley says the MTAA and AAAA worked with the Government, the Treasury Department, other portfolios, and other automotive sector organisations in a decade long journey of inquiries and a failed industry-led voluntary solution.

“MTAA investigated the European Union legislation, analysed the United States solution, and with AAAA used our reach into these and other jurisdictions and kindred organisations to help identify potential solutions to a complex issue. However, the introduction of the legislation would not have been possible without the Government’s commitment to act on the ACCC’s recommendation and the drive of Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar and his Department to make it happen,” said Dudley.

Charity and Dudley said they encouraged all Parliamentarians to provide bipartisan support for the passage of the legislation through Parliament and its timely enactment. AAAA and MTAA look forward to working with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA), the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) to establish the industry-led Scheme Adviser, to meet requirements of the legislation and start the flow of information.

Editor: The new legislation is designed to make the information available on commercially fair and reasonable terms, creating an opportunity for the OEMs and the aftermarket to come together.

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