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



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

New plan could make Imbil a cultural hub

OLD HUB MADE NEW: The historic Imbil train station, which will form part of the Imbil Heritage Park precinct.

A new precinct plan for Imbil is in the works.

Affordable children's fashions at the push of a button

Ruby wears: Love Henry Elka Lace Neckline Top for $32.50 and Love Henry Elka Charlotte skirt for $32.50.

Goomeri's Sage and Rose is going national.

UPDATE: Elderly man hit by car in Centro car park

A man has been injured outside Gympie Central shopping centre.

Paramedics treating man in 80s after incident this afternoon

Local Partners

Farmers count the cost after hailstorm devastation

Rob Price and his wife are just two of many who are devastated by hailstorms last week.


PARTY TIME: Two huge nights of Christmas on Mary

IN THE MOOD: Jade Alexis dressed up for a Mary Christmas on December 14 and 21.

Mary St keeps up its new Christmas night shopping tradition

All your entertainment needs sorted for this weekend

ROCK ON: Travis Collins will be at the Royal Hotel to promote his new album on Friday night

Don't let the bad weather chase away a good time.

Event promises a very Mary Christmas

FESTIVE SPIRIT: Faye Jefferson, Craig Skennerton, Bev Evans and Karyn Palmer from Red Cross Opp Shop at last year's event.

Mary St gears up for Christmas bonanza

Brad Pitt bids to keep custody battle private

Brad Pitt will go to court to keep his custody battle private

Sia has split from her husband

Sia has split from her husband Erik Anders Lang.

Amy Schumer thanks Barbie trolls for hateful comments

Amy Schumer is in the lead role for the new Barbie movie

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing for destroyed sex life

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing her former manager

Azealia Banks' battery case against Russell Crowe dropped

Russell Crowe will not be charged with battery

Mel Gibson named Best Director at AACTA Awards

Mel Gibson poses in the media room after winning the AACTA Award for Best Direction for Hacksaw Ridge.

HIS wartime drama Hacksaw Ridge sweeps 6th annual awards in Sydney.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!