News

Dealerships play tough with local mechanics

RESOURCEFUL: Paul Vella of Gympie’s Velmec Automotive says mechanics are resourceful in the face of car dealerships attempting to lock out independent mechanics from accessing diagnostic knowledge for new cars.
RESOURCEFUL: Paul Vella of Gympie’s Velmec Automotive says mechanics are resourceful in the face of car dealerships attempting to lock out independent mechanics from accessing diagnostic knowledge for new cars. Patrick Woods

A MOVE by new car dealerships to block independent mechanics from accessing information, tools and computer programs needed to repair new vehicles has been slammed by the industry.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' new voluntary code of conduct allows dealers to choose whether to make the resources available.

On the surface, the logic seems simple - if no one else can fix it, a new car will have to come back to its place of purchase for repair.

Velmec Automotive owner Paul Vella there was nothing new about dealers trying to lock buyers into staying away from independent mechanics.

"If the death of the local mechanic did happen, it would be from capped-price servicing," he said.

"But once that capped-price servicing package runs out, they come back to see us."

Mr Vella warned the FCAI may not realise what resourceful people it was up against, with electronic "trade secrets" often leaked online soon after their creation.

"The internet is a wonderful thing these days. Someone is always out to beat the system," he said.

Mechanics need permission to access information about security, safety and environmental features of new cars.

FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said the regulations were nothing new.

"We will not tell you how to turn the airbag off," he said.

Australian Automobile Association chief executive Andrew McKellar said regional communities should be concerned about the new code of conduct.

"The car brands have sought to protect their own interests and the interests of their franchised dealers by limiting access to a range of service and repair information," he said.

The RACQ's technical and safety policy executive manager Steve Spalding took a similarly dim view.

"It's progressively getting more difficult for independent repairers to get the information they need," Mr Spalding said.

He said motorists had a right to choose their mechanic but agreed manufacturers had a right to charge for restricted information.

"Manufacturers have put a lot of work in preparing that information. But it should be made available for an appropriate fee."

WHAT THEY SAY:

Paul Vella: I haven't seen a death of the local mechanic. We've been looking for an automotive technician for the past month and still can't find one.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries: We've got exclusions around safety, security and the environment for good reasons.

RACQ: Mechanics have a right to carry out repairs. Motorists have a right to choose their mechanic.

AAA: The car brands are trying to protect their own interests. It's concerning for regional areas.

Gympie Times

Topics:  business, car, gympie, mechanic




Beware email scam using Gympie council logo

If you receive an email saying your dog is in the pound, it could well be a scam.

Gympie council issues warning about email scam targeting pet owners

Cheap Fraser Coast island drops its price

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

10 reasons to go to the Gympie Muster

Getting a selfie in the moshpit in front of Main Stage is one reason to go to the Muster.

10 reasons you should go to the Gympie Muster

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: War Dogs tells a fascinating true story

Miles Teller and Jonah Hill in a scene from the movie War Dogs.

DARKLY funny film examines the business side of the war on terror.

Marvel-ous: Thor actors visit sick kids at Lady Cilento

Stars of Thor: Ragnarok dropped in on patients at the hospital

Folk singer looking forward to her Gympie Muster debut

Alternative country folk singer Fanny Lumsden will perform at the Gympie Muster.

FANNY Lumsden to serenade new fans with her country hall-style show.

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

Angie and Yvie ready to toast The Bachelor on Gogglebox

Angie and Yvie in a scene from the TV series Gogglebox.

ALL the regulars return in TV show about people watching TV.

Morgan Freeman asks: are we alone? Why do humans exist?

Morgan Freeman in Through the Wormhole. Photo: Discovery Science

Question all you thought you knew, on Foxtel.

Cheap Fraser Coast island drops its price

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.