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AAAA calls for urgent data share enquiry
Code share: The AAAA says the introduction of an information sharing system has made accessing manufacturer's service, repair and diagnostic data even harder.
2014 industry code has been a “monumental failure”: AAAA
16 February 2016
The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) will push for a
mandatory information sharing system after car-makers showed an almost complete
failure to honour the data sharing code of conduct signed in December 2014.
The association has arranged a series of meetings in Canberra next week to
press for an urgent government-backed review of the data sharing system, agreed
to little more than a year ago.
“We believe any meaningful review of the operation of the Heads of Agreement on
Access (HoA) will come to the same conclusion we have: it has been a monumental
failure,” AAAA chief executive Stuart Charity told GoAuto.
If the review, expected to be conducted by the Treasury Department, reaches a
similar conclusion, the AAAA will push for mandatory participation by the car
makers, as has occurred in some major overseas markets.
When the HoA was signed, the AAAA created an Internet portal so that its
members could report problems experienced accessing service and repair
information held by the car-makers.
“We now have a snapshot of the depth and breadth of the complaints across
different brands. We have compiled the information and made it available to the
“We have had a significant number of cases reported involving 25 to 30 brands,
so it is very widespread. The issues are also numerous.”
Mr Charity said there had been no meaningful advance in the availability of
service and repair information since the data sharing code was signed by the
AAAA, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the Australian
Automobile Association (AAA), the Australian Automotive Dealer Association
(AADA) and the Motor Trades Industries Association (MTIA).
“In fact, it could be argued that in many cases the level of information has
been reduced,” he said.
“We have evidence of scan tools being downgraded. These are plugged into the
on-board diagnostic (OBD) port to diagnose faults and for reprogramming. In the
case of one brand, we believe the scan tool functionality has actually been
Mr Charity said the failure of the car-makers to honour the agreement signed in
2014 was particularly galling because they are already providing the required
information – under government legislation – to independent repairers in
Europe, America and Canada.
He said the situation was so bad in Australia that some manufacturers were even
withholding the type of oil that has to be used in a bid to force car owners to
take their vehicles back to the franchised dealer for something as simple as
“The OEMs (original equipment makers or car manufacturers) aren’t releasing
information on oil quantities and types.
“It’s part of the diagnostics and electronics of the vehicle. We are now seeing
logbooks going from paper-based to electronically based.
“Independent repairers are not able to access the log book to record a
scheduled service. That’s very important for proof of warranty compliance and
for resale value as proof of service history.”
He added independent repairers were still being hindered by restrictive
practices around the access to computer codes needed to correctly restart
calibrate vehicles after a battery replacement, for example.
“We’re seeing many more issues around the need for pass codes to do basic
things like replace a battery.
“If you replace a battery on many vehicles it will reset the vehicle or kills
the vehicle. You have to tow it to a dealership and get it reinitialised.”
Mr Charity said the AAAA was aiming to persuade the Assistant Treasurer and
Minister for Small Business, Kelly O’Dwyer, that the government should
institute an urgent review of the data sharing system and the poor performance
of the car makers.
“We have statements of support from the opposition and the Greens,” Mr Charity
“Senator Ricky Muir said in December that if the government doesn’t act on this
he will introduce a private member’s Bill.
“We are back in Canberra next week for a whole range of meetings across the
government, the opposition and so on, to ask the government to move on a
process to implement a mandatory code, because we don’t think the car industry,
which has a massive commercial interest in maintaining the status quo, has had
more than enough opportunity.”