Mechanics, motorist groups concerned with industry moves

SMALL mechanic businesses that do not specialise in a field may be doomed, as car manufacturers and dealers make it harder for car owners to go elsewhere to service their car, says a Rockhampton mechanic.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has released its own code of practice which outlines how independent mechanics need to contact car dealerships to access safety, security and environmental information about a car they're repairing.

And this has mechanics and motorist groups concerned.

North Rocky Mechanical acting manager Mat Dahler said there was a big push from car manufacturers and dealers to make sure the customer stuck with them after buying a car.

"A lot of people are under the impression they have to go back to the dealer (for a service) otherwise they void warranty," he said.

But he said this was not true.

He said the industry was heading in a direction that if small workshops did not specialise in something, they would probably go extinct.

Australian Automobile Association chief executive Andrew McKellar said FCAI's code for restrictive access to a car's information was especially concerning for people in rural regional areas, who would have to drive hours to a city, where they purchased their car, for servicing and repairs.

But FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said these regulations had been in place for a while.

He said the three exclusions were to do with safety, security and environmental impacts of a car - three areas they would not sacrifice.

Insurance body RACQ's technical and safety policy executive manager Steve Spalding said restrictions should not be in place when people tried to ensure their vehicle was safe, reliable and roadworthy.

"It's progressively getting more difficult for independent repairers to get the information they need," he said.

WHAT THEY SAY

  • Rockhampton mechanic: Mechanics will need a specialty to stop going extinct
  • Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries: We've got exclusions around safety, security and the environment for good reasons.
  • RACQ: Mechanics have a right to carry out repairs. Motorists have a right to choose their mechanic.
  • AAA: The car brands are trying to protect their own interests. It is concerning for regional areas.


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