Labor takes the wheel for Aussie car owners and mechanics

Federal Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon supports a drive for a better deal to put more money back into the pockets of car owners and give 23,000 independent repairers a boost.

Federal Labor plans to make car manufacturers share their technical information so that vehicles can be serviced by any mechanic.

It’s a strategy the former auto electrician is confident will benefit dozens of independent small and medium business in the Hunter.

“New cars are computers on wheels. Real-time access to digital files and codes, which vary from car to car, is needed to complete many aspects of a repair or service. Car manufacturers generally own and control this technical information and in many cases are the only sources,” Federal Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon said.

Whether a person owns a Toyota Corolla or a Ford Ranger, Labor believes everyone should be able to choose where they get their car serviced. But limited access to this vital information pushes up prices for car services, and limits the ability of independent mechanics to grow their business and generate more jobs.

“That’s why a Labor Government will require car manufacturers to share technical information with independent mechanics on commercially fair and reasonable terms, with safeguards that enable environmental, safety and security-related technical information to be shared with the independent sector,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“This reform will not only deliver savings to drivers, who will have better choice and easier access to repairs, but also create a level playing field for independent mechanics who will be able to stay in business as a result.

“We will stick up for small businesses, Aussie tradies and keeping the cost of living down for families.”

Labor has been calling for independent mechanics to get access to the same technical information which car manufacturers make available to their authorised dealers and preferred repairer networks.

Five months ago the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission backed Labor’s recommendations to ensure Australia’s new car retailing industry isn’t shutting out independent mechanics and forcing up prices for motorists.

“Independent mechanics have been going to the wall while the Turnbull Government sat on its hands – there’s no reason that this reform shouldn’t happen straight away,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“Labor understands it’s your car and it should be your choice where it gets repaired – our plan will deliver money to the household budget and give local mechanics a boost to their business.”

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