Motorists have seen positive steps forward after the Competition Commission ruled in their favour to choose their own independent service or repair providers without the loss of warranties.
The Sowetan Live, reports that as from 1st July 2021, new car owners in South Africa will be able to choose a repairer, independent of the vehicle manufacturer’s preferences.
According to the article, the following official guidelines for the automotive industry have been released by the Competition Commission and include;
- OEMs must recognise and not obstruct a consumer’s choice to seek service, maintenance, and mechanical repair work for their motor vehicles at a service provider of their choice, regardless of whether that service provider is an approved dealer or independent operator;
- Maintenance plans and service plans will be separated at the point of sale from the purchase price of the vehicle, allowing consumers to exercise choice regarding whether to purchase the maintenance plan or service plan. This is intended to make and will make servicing a more affordable option for South Africans, while allowing for more players to provide car maintenance products for consumers whose motor vehicles are in-warranty;
- OEMs must adopt measures to promote and/or support the entry of new motor-body repairers, with a preference for firms owned by historically disadvantaged operators;
- Consumers can fit original or non-original spare parts, at a service provider of their choice, whether that be an approved dealer, approved motor-body repairer, or an independent one, during the in-warranty period, without voiding their warranty. The quality of these will be carefully dealt with in line with consumer protection laws as well as existing warranties;
- OEMs must make available to independent service providers the OEM-technical information relating to its cars, including security-related information that permits access to cars’ security systems, including coding and programming, software, and safety systems. Such access must be subject to OEMs’ intellectual property and data privacy rights and the independent operators meeting their accreditation requirements; and
- OEMs and/or approved dealers are required to provide training to access to training to employees of independent repairers who request training, at a reasonable cost that may not exceed that imposed on employees of approved dealers.
Details taken from the original article, written and published by The Sowetan Live. Read the full article now.
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