15th March 2017

Autoforum Aug submission Right to Repair call

Autoforum

September edition

We need you – support the Right to Repair Campaign

Since the launch of the Right to Repair Campaign at the beginning of the year, we have made progress but we need car owners to start voting with their feet. The Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), representing 2 200 independent aftermarket dealers, is championing the cause which follows the international Right to Repair trend for a fair and competitive regulatory environment that enables freedom of choice for consumers.

 

Ultimately by winning this battle we will ensure that consumers have the right to select where their vehicles are serviced, maintained and repaired at competitive prices in a workshop of their choice.

 

We are calling on vehicle owners to support the campaign by taking their business to local workshops and spreading the word to fellow drivers about this initiative.

 

Currently we are in the throes of the submission phase, based on a European plan, with the outcome to change legislation in favour of the aims of the Campaign.

 

In some instances the successful Right to Repair Campaigns in other countries have lead to the enactment of legislation which dictates that Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are required to provide the same information to the independent aftermarket dealers as they already provide to their franchise dealers. Certain Right to Repair legislation also codifies the consumers’ right to choose their preferred dealers without fear of losing their warranty.

 

Along with the aim to give motorists the right of choice, the Campaign aims to protect the rights of the independent operators to maintain, service and repair modern vehicles equipped with multiple electronic control units managed by complex software and multiplex networks.

 

The Campaign also commits to safeguard independent aftermarket operators’ right to exist, serve and grow. Only strong, entrepreneurial competition will result in advantageous pricing for consumers and ensure that local businesses can continue to provide quality service in the neighbourhoods they serve and support.

 

In terms of the spare parts industry, the Campaign will affect how genuine parts are perceived by customers and how warranties are affected. In the past, aftermarket workshops were supplying the genuine parts but because they were not bought from the OEM Dealer Network, the warranties on these vehicles were made null and void. The Right to Repair Campaign will ensure that workshops can use these parts and warranties won’t be affected.

Access to information is increasingly important in an era of technological advancements. Not having access to certain information has allowed OEMs to monopolise the automotive industry. They have refused to provide the requisite codes for security systems, diagnostic systems and telematics systems, but to name a few, to independent aftermarket dealers. Where the required codes are not available, the independent aftermarket dealers are precluded from repairing those vehicles which leaves the consumer with the franchise dealers as their only alternative.

Both the lack of access to information and the stringent framework surrounding warranty, maintenance and service plans, minimises, if not destroys, the consumers right to choose. We believe this imbalance needs to be addressed in South Africa, as it has in other parts of the world, and we call on you for support!

 

BIO

Les is the owner of M-Centre in Centurion and has been running his business for the past 26 years. He has been in the motor industry for 42 years in various managerial positions. Les assumed the role of Chairman of MIWA in 2009 believing the industry needs a body to ensure the highest possible standards are met at all times. He is currently leading the charge in the Right to Repair Campaign. The Campaign calls for legislation supporting the consumers’ rights to select where their vehicles are serviced, maintained and repaired at competitive prices in the workshop of their choice without affecting the manufacturer’s warranty, which is but one of the crucial facets of the R2R campaign.

 

ENDS

Issued for and on behalf of MIWA by Cathy Findley PR on (011) 463 6372 or email nicolle@findleypr.co.za