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Code of conduct looms for automotive repairs industry

ABC News (June 11): The Australian Automobile Association says a proposed code of conduct for the automotive industry would be “weak” and does not go far enough for consumers.

The Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council has conducted an inquiry into the automotive repair market.

It found independent repairers have been frustrated by a lack of technical information available to them, forcing motorists to take their cars to dealerships for servicing.

The Federal Government today agreed to three recommendations from the inquiry, including setting up a voluntary code of conduct that will be negotiated by the industry.

It would mean independent repairers would have better access to repair information, and lead to more choice for consumers.

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury says consumers should have the right to choose where they take their cars for service and repair.

An update on the voluntary code negotiations will be provided to the Government mid-year.

But Australian Automobile Association executive director Andrew McKellar says a voluntary code does not go far enough.

“I think essentially the Government has abdicated its responsibility in this area, and the people who will be left out of this process are consumers – they’re the ones who are really being denied their rights in terms of ownership and control over the data that goes with their vehicle,” Mr McKellar said.

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