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AAAA to monitor data access
Portal allows independent repairers to log experiences with OEMs on accessing data
19 Aug 2015
By IAN PORTER
THE performance of car-makers in providing access to service and repair data under the recently signed Agreement on Access will be monitored under a new incident reporting system.
The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has established the system so repairers can report their experiences when seeking access to crucial data from car-makers.
The AAAA hopes the new system will also help car-makers rapidly improve their level of service when it come to the provision of service and repair data.
AAAA chief executive Stuart Charity said it was crucial that access to data was monitored.
“Because the Agreement on Access is based on voluntary co-operation, it is important that its performance is closely monitored,” he said.
The Agreement on Access was created as a result of the AAAA’s Right to Repair campaign, which sought uniform access for independent repairers on the same basis it was provided to franchised dealers.
“Working on behalf of consumers and the aftermarket since 2009, we have finally achieved an agreement that ensures vehicle manufacturers must provide access to current service and repair data at fair and reasonable cost,” Mr Charity said.
The online incident reporting system would comprise a simple questionnaire located on the AAAA website.
“We want independent aftermarket operators to pass on their good and bad experiences in accessing service and repair information from vehicle makers.”
He said the portal would provide a fair and comprehensive way of documenting how the Agreement on Access was working.
“This will also be an open process with the data collected (being) shared amongst the industry, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, State Consumer Affairs Departments and the federal minister for small business, Bruce Billson.”
Mr Charity said he expects the new system might also become a source of case studies about the difficulties independent repairers have with gaining access to data and perhaps even instances of non-compliance with the new agreement.
While the local agreement looks similar to data access systems in the United States and Europe, he pointed out that those systems were enshrined in legislation that made compliance mandatory for the car-makers.
He said that he expected it would take a while for the local subsidiaries of the car-makers to obtain the IT systems they would need to comply with the Agreement on Access.
“We want the access and the quality of the service and repair information available from manufacturers supplying vehicles in Australia to improve rapidly.
“As it will be a fee for service arrangement, the independent aftermarket will be entitled to a straightforward and error-free process to access data along similar lines to the manufacturers’ own dealers.”
Started by the AAAA in 2009, the Right to Repair campaign culminated last December in the signing of the Agreement on Access to Service and Repair Information by the AAAA, the Australian Automobile Association, the Australian Motor Industry Federation and, on behalf of the car-makers, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, which was supported by the Australian Automotive Dealer Association.
The car-makers fought against the institution of a wide-ranging uniform data-access scheme, arguing they be left to their own devices as to how much information to share, and to whom.
After a unilateral attempt by the FCAI to establish its own, restrictive, system for providing data, the federal minister for small business, Bruce Billson, required the chamber to negotiate a data access agreement with the other four bodies.
The FCAI had argued that the car-makers should not have to share data on security systems, safety systems and environmental systems, but Mr Billson’s intervention forced a backdown. The only area excluded from the Agreement on Access is security.
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