Media Release

Lack of Information for Car Repairers Threatens Australia's Climate Change Action


Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association

The Federal Government is being urged to ensure tens of thousands of independent car repairers across Australia will be able to access accurate information from car manufacturers to minimise the impact of vehicle emissions in support of Australia's climate change polices.

Stuart Charity
Executive Director

Stuart Charity, Executive Director of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association, (AAAA) said a correctly serviced and maintained vehicle will produce less pollution and run more efficiently.

"A lack of any mandatory requirement to ensure critical information is available for independent car repairers to carry out service and repair tasks needs to be urgently addressed by all political parties in their policy platforms."

In 2012, the National Environment Protection Council commissioned the Australian Child Health and Air Pollution Study, which found that in a sample of 2860 primary school children, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), found in motor vehicle exhaust, was present in the lungs of two thirds of the children tested.

"One of the most effective methods of limiting vehicle emissions is to ensure that vehicles are serviced regularly - an increasingly difficult task when independent repairers' access to diagnostic information is limited."

Mr Charity said transport is seen as one of the major challenges in addressing climate change and Australia should consider aligning its legislation and timetable with the United States.

"The legislation, which makes it compulsory for all car manufacturers to provide the same level of access to the independent repairers as they do to their franchised dealers, is aimed at ensuring older vehicles out of warranty can be correctly serviced and maintained, no matter where that servicing takes place".

"Currently in Australia there is no guarantee that tens of thousands of independent mechanics in the automotive repair and servicing industry, not aligned to dealerships, can access basic information from manufacturers."

Mr Charity said, "Computers control vehicle safety, environmental and road performance of the 13 million family and work vehicles Australians drive every day, and computer testing and diagnostics of vehicles is a major part of Australia's digital economy".

"It is time for the Federal Government to coordinate a policy across the relevant Ministries of Small Business, Environment, Competition Policy and the Digital Economy, given the failure by the automotive industry to establish a voluntary system of providing information."

Urgent intervention by the Federal Government is now needed as the voluntary Industry Code for the sharing of vehicle repair and service information, implemented twelve months ago, has seen just 9 out of 68 car companies supplying the Australian market make information available via an electronic portal. Much of the data provided by those 9 car companies falls well short of the terms of the agreement with only 1 car brand fully meeting the requirements of the Code, Mr Charity said.

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, AAAA - Mobile: 0417 329 201