The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says car-makers that still refused to share service and repair data with independent workshops are costing consumers $1 billion a year.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims told the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics that consumers were being disadvantaged by car-makers that cite safety reasons for not granting information access to independent repairers.
He reiterated the ACCC’s support for mandatory information sharing and emphasised that the voluntary Heads of Agreement signed by various industry bodies in 2014 had proved ineffective.
“We are convinced that some form of mandatory arrangement needs to be in place,” said Mr Sims.
“The sooner it’s done, you’re going to make life better for the independent repairers, which in turn makes life better for consumers trying to get their cars repaired at the cheapest price.”
He added that he could not “fault the arithmetic” of shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh, who estimated that the ongoing situation was resulting in an annual cost to Australian consumers of $1 billion, based on figures from the United States Auto Care Association that valued consumer savings at US$26 billion after data sharing was mandated.