Why a choice of repairer is important for motorists
THERE'S no denying technology has made our lives easier.
We can chat with friends on the other side of the planet on our mobile phones and see what our far flung family members are up to on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram.
But when it comes to your car, technology could become your worst enemy.
If you're like me, you've probably marvelled at the range of complex technologies that car manufacturers have developed to improve and refine performance, fuel consumption, emissions, reliability, safety and security.
And while these technologies make the driving experience safer and more enjoyable, they can cause big issues when it comes to repairs and routine servicing.
At RACQ, we're hearing from independent repairers and mechanics who say it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to carry out repairs on new vehicles.
Repairers are finding they need specialist servicing, diagnostic and repair information in order to fix specific - and sometimes simple or everyday - issues on particular late model cars. Without it, they are unable to carry out what is often routine maintenance work.
And it's not surprising that independent repairers - those workshops are not affiliated with car dealer networks - are the ones most affected by this shift.
But the flow-on effects for motorists are obvious: their choices about who repairs their car will be limited. Many will have no option but to get their car serviced or repaired at franchised dealerships.
We believe choice for motorists is essential.
Developments in vehicle technology should not negatively impact a motorist's choice of repairer, or their ability to manage the personal information and data that is generated by a vehicle.
We argue there should be strong competition in the motor vehicle repair industry to ensure that motorists have ample choice.
For more information, see RACQ's position paper on right to repair www.racq.com.au/motoring/cars/car_advice/technical_reports.