Share info, say mechanics
Local mechanics back Right to Repair Campaign to get information on new vehicle parts
MORE mechanics in Msunduzi are supporting the Right to Repair Campaign that wants Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to play fair when it comes to the repair of old cars.
This campaign, which was launched in SA in 2010, already has a strong foothold in many world markets, such as Europe, the U.S., Australia and Brazil.
Jens Denk of Denk’s Motors said the OEMs currently like to keep secret any technical details to a vehicle.
“The OEMs rightly say they spent a lot of money on research and development to make a new car safe and sound.
“What we are saying is that when a person buys a car, the high price they pay covers a percentage of that R&D and the new owner must get access to a workshop manual and a parts list so that they can ensure their vehicles are safely maintained at all times.
“Just imagine if the aircraft industry withheld servicing manuals and parts details on a plane like the OEMs are doing,” said Denk.
Striving to get this information, the Motor Industry Workshop Association (Miwa) will in June hold formal meetings with the vehicle manufacturers and distributors, following a well-attended conference at the recent Automechanika Johannesburg trade fair for the automotive aftermarket.
Vishal Premlall, the director of Miwa said without full and fair access from the OEMs to technical information, multibrand diagnostic tools and test equipment, as well as replacement parts and training, the independent automotive aftermarket will no longer be able to provide South African motorists with the quality service and parts they deserve in the aftermarket care of their vehicles.
“This may have a direct impact on the safety of vehicles and consequently other road users travelling on South African roads,” said Premlall.
The reason for this campaign is that motor vehicles have become more and more like computers on wheels.
Premlall said the lack of access to information and the stringent framework surrounding warranty, maintenance and service plans all but destroys consumers’s right to competition and gives OEMs and their franchise dealers exclusive control over a market segment.
“This imbalance needs to be addressed in South Africa as it has in other parts of the world, and we will continue to champion the cause until the change is made,” Premlalls said.
Premlall said South Africa is way behind European counterparts, where the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (EC) 1400/2002 ensure consumer a choice when it comes to parts and repair sector.
He said the Euro 5 Regulation, which came into force in September 2009, covers access to all technical information for newly type approved vehicles.
Tinos Mandonye’s aim to service a vehicle as cheaply as possible for his clients is hampered by the Original Equipment Manufacturers’ insistence that all information on parts are proprietal.