COALITION DELAY COSTING AUSSIE DRIVERS BIG BUCKS
The cost of the Coalition’s inaction on data sharing among mechanics is costing Australian drivers over a billion dollars a year.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair, Rod Sims, today confirmed the issue was becoming “progressively worse” during a hearing with the House Economics Committee:
Leigh: The estimate from the US Auto Care Association was that those commensurate changes in the US saved customers in the order of US $26 billion a year*. If that figure is correct in the US, that would suggest that the cost to Australians is over a billion a year, would it not?
Sims: I can’t fault the arithmetic on that.
New cars are computers on wheels, and real-time access to digital files and codes is needed to complete many aspects of a repair or service. Car manufacturers generally own and control this technical information and in many cases are the only sources.
Everyone should be able to choose where they get their car serviced, but the car manufacturers’ control of this information pushes up prices for car services, and limits the ability of independent mechanics to grow their business and generate more jobs.
This is not a new problem – Labor has been calling on the Coalition to take action for years - but it is one that’s getting worse:
Sims: The cars are getting more and more complicated, so the problem’s getting progressively worse.
Independent mechanics are struggling to stay in business. While the Coalition has stalled reforms, the costs for everyday Australian drivers keep accelerating.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.
* Costs detailed on page 118 of the ACCC’s 2017 New car retailing industry market study - final report.