Call for car repairs code of conduct

A code of conduct between car manufacturers and automotive repairers is currently being developed, so the latter group will have the information they need to repair modern, sophisticated vehicles.

The Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC) recently conducted an inquiry into consumer choice and automotive repairs. The government has endorsed this proposed code of conduct because of the CCAAC's findings.

Basically, today's vehicles are becoming so sophisticated that automotive repairers are struggling to diagnose and fix them.

This is "not because they lack the skills or equipment", says assistant treasurer David Bradbury, "but because they cannot access the required data and technical information".

The code of conduct would see this information being made available to consumers and repairers. This will mean that fleet managers can take their hi-tech vehicles to any repairer they choose and get it fixed.

As it stands, these fleet managers are being forced to take their vehicles into the nearest dealership. Mr Bradbury says this can be extremely difficult for owners who live in remote and regional areas.

Because it is often only dealerships that have the specific technical information required to make repairs, this means consumers are not being given a "genuine choice" when it comes to getting their vehicles serviced.

"I welcome the efforts of independent repairers and car manufacturers to work out a way that this data can be made available so that consumers have a genuine choice and I will be closely monitoring the progress of these discussions," says Mr Bradbury.

This code of conduct will help fleet managers to have more choice when it comes to fleet maintenance.

If you want to make sure this maintenance is done on time at low cost, you may want to consider using fleet management software.

Smartfleet's fleet software will keep track of your vehicles' service history, so you will know which vehicles have undergone repairs and when.