VW commits to open up Customers to benefit, as is standard in EU RIght to Repair THE Right to Repair R2R campaign is celebrating the decision by Volkswagen VW to make several changes in relation to the independent aftermarket. The campaign hopes that this move signals a willingness by manufacturers to start opening up the aftersales market to independent providers. “Thanks to the process started by the Competition Commission, we believe VW is also being guided by practices in the European Union,” said Gunther Schmitz, spokesperson for Right to Repair SA. In a submission to the Competition Commission, VW stated that it would commit to ensuring that warranties will remain in place if service, maintenance or repair work is performed by independent third parties. Along with that, it has committed to making tools and equipment, as well as the technical literature that is required for the servicing and repair of VW vehicles, available from approved dealers. Lastly, it stated that VW is prepared to consider offering training for independent service providers. “This is a great step forward?’ said Schmitz. “We understand that the Competition Commission is still busy with finalising the code of conduct and due to the complexity of the topic, many stakeholder engagements are required. “In the meantime, the submission by VW shows that some vehicle manufacturers are open to allowing the same competitive environment as is standard in Europe, and it will benefit the South African consumer?’ He s aid that the R2R campaign aims to allow consumers to select where their vehicles are serviced, maintained and repaired at competitive prices inthe workshop of their choice. “There is a need for a fair and competitive regulatory environment that enables freedom of choice for consumers and gives aftermarket small and mediumsized enterprises a chance to stay in business. “South African legislation needs to follow the international Right to Repair trends, which promote South Africa’s existing consumer and competition laws. “We applaud Volkswagen for taking the first step and we are looking forward to seeing other manufacturers follow suit, as has happened in other countries where R2R has been active,” he said. For more details, see www.right2repair.org.za R2RSA.