News

Dealers shut out small operators: mechanic

IS this the death of the small mechanic business?

Gladstone mechanic Russell Houghton says a move to restrict information given to car repairers is a way for car dealers to ensure people continue to spend money with them years after buying a new car.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has released its own code of practice which outlines how independent mechanics need to contact car dealerships to access safety, security and environmental information about a car they are repairing.

But it has mechanics and motorist groups concerned.

Mr Houghton, who owns GPR Automotive, said their scanning tool, which runs diagnostics to find out electronically what needs fixing, only covered about 80% of the vehicle's information.

He said car dealers keep the other 20% of information to themselves "so it becomes harder for us to diagnose".

Car owners then have to take their car back to the dealer to get it properly diagnosed.

Australian Automobile Association chief executive Andrew McKellar said FCAI's code for restrictive access to a car's information was especially concerning for people in rural regional areas, who would have to drive hours to a city where they purchased their car, for servicing and repairs.

"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.

But FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said these regulations had been in place for a while.

He said the three exclusions were anything to do with safety, security and environmental impacts of a car; three areas they would not sacrifice.

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

Mr Houghton did not believe this would mean independent mechanics would shut down any time soon.

But he said it would mean they would just need to keep on top of training and new equipment.

THEY SAID IT:

Gladstone mechanic: Car companies try to keep people spending money with their business after buying a new car.

FCAI: 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.

Topics:  car repairs, cars, chamber of commerce, mechanic




New church to open in Calliope, February

BIGGER AND BETTER: Lifestyle Church, which opened in Gladstone 10 years ago yesterday, celebrated their Milestone by announcing the church is expanding to Calliope in February. Pictured: Gabby Curro, 12. and Erica El-Khori, 11.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

LIFESTYLE Church are expanding to Calliope

Fishing industry squeezed out by new 60% target

THE fishing industry is casting its eye over the State Government’s green paper on fisheries management reform.

FISHING industry casting eye over State Government's green paper

Man, 69, throws at rocks neighbour’s fence to quiet barking hounds

FILE PHOTO: Gladstone Courthouse, Yarroon St.

Man calls police after neighbour rocks his fence

Latest deals and offers

Reno stars want tradies to focus a little more on one thing

The Demmrichs want Tradies to look after their most important tool

Day 2 Splendour Pictures

Sticky Fingers perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Splendour in the Grass Day 2 covered in pictures.

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles