DATA SHARING LEGISLATION INTRODUCED TO AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT

The new legislation improves consumer choice and competition for Australian automotive repair and service

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) and the Motor Trades Association of Australia Limited (MTAA) have welcomed the introduction into the Australian Parliament of world-leading legislation to mandate access to motor vehicle service and repair information.
The legislation fulfils a government election commitment to act on a recommendation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for a mandatory scheme, compelling car manufacturers to share technical service and repair information with all Australian repairers.
AAAA Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Charity, and MTAA Chief Executive Officer, Richard Dudley, say the legislation is ground-breaking.
It captures and improves the critical elements of existing international legislation and regulation while providing an Australian market-based legislative solution with operational guidance and the automotive sector’s ongoing involvement.
“The ACCC Market Study into New Car Retailing confirmed a market failure requiring government intervention to ensure consumer choice and competition,” Stuart said.
“AAAA and MTAA advocated solutions to address a clear power imbalance that prevented fair and equitable competition because car manufacturers withheld critical motor vehicle service and repair information.
“Withholding information created barriers to consumers exercising their right to choose a repairer, and for professional qualified mechanics and repairers, the ability to complete a repair.”
Richard said the MTAA and AAAA worked with the Government, the Treasury Department, other portfolios, and other automotive sector organisations in a decade long journey of inquiries and a failed industry-led voluntary solution.
“MTAA investigated the European Union legislation, analysed the United States solution, and with AAAA used our reach into these and other jurisdictions and kindred organisations to help identify potential solutions to a complex issue,” Richard said.
“However, the introduction of the legislation would not have been possible without the Government’s commitment to act on the ACCC’s recommendation and the drive of Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar and his Department to make it happen.”
Stuart and Richard said they encouraged all Parliamentarians to provide bipartisan support for the passage of the legislation through Parliament and its timely enactment.

“It really has been an incredible journey to get to the momentous day the legislation was introduced. After 10 long years of campaigning, with its many wins and setbacks, there were times when we weren’t sure when this day would come,” Stuart said.
“This is a victory our members should be very proud of. You have been patient, enthusiastic and supportive and many of you contributed countless hours towards providing crucial information for the ACCC 2017 Market Study into New Car Retailing, and hosted visits from your local member of Parliament, or just took a photo with a poster. It all led to getting to where we are today and shows how strong this industry is when it works together. Getting a Bill introduced to Parliament is no small feat and we should be very proud.
“On the first read through of the legislation we can see there are some obvious wins, including the sharing of information in real time – which means same day as requested to workshops.
“Previously electric vehicles were listed as exclusions in the draft, meaning repairers would be unable to access information concerning them, however access to alternate propulsions will now be addressed in the Scheme rules and will leverage the Electric Vehicle Repair and Service Australian Standard.
“There was also a considerable change to the wording and no actual use of the word ‘telemetry’ or ‘telematics’, however there has been a specific exclusion of self-driving cars, which is generally linked to automated vehicles – not wireless transmission. We need to do a little more analysis of this section because some of our objections have been included, but thankfully it does appear that ADAS calibration is now included in the Scheme Information.
“We would like to thank Minister Sukkar for his leadership and significant support over the last few years to get us to this point, without it we would not be celebrating such a momentous achievement.”
The Bill will be discussed by the Lower House at the next Parliamentary sitting and the AAAA will keep members updated on developments as the legislation passes through Parliament.
The AAAA and MTAA look forward to working with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) and the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) to establish the industry-led Scheme Adviser, to meet requirements of the legislation and start the flow of information.

For more from the AAAA, visit www.aaaa.com.au