VW com­mits to open up

Cus­tomers to ben­e­fit, as is stan­dard in EU

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

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 af­ter-sales 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 said that the R2R cam­paign aims to al­low con­sumers to se­lect where their ve­hi­cles are ser­viced, main­tained and re­paired at com­pet­i­tive prices in the 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

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