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



Agnes surfer ready to break world record with 25 of his "best mates”

BIG EFFORT: Chris de Aboitiz WANTS TO SET A world record for the most dogs on his stand-up paddleboad.

Surfer hopes to break a world record for most dogs catching a wave.

Woman assaults two people after DJ won't play her songs at work party

Raquel Theresa Hudson.

IT WAS a work Christmas party gone horribly wrong.

Budding snapper wins photography competition

WINNER: Jacinta Rose Charles snapped this photo of her daughter in the water.

Jacinta Rose Charles wins Nikon camera

Local Partners

Peppa Pig trots into town

Peppa Pig is making a surprise visit to Gladstone on Tuesday


New Year New Yard

Win $1000 Bunnings Voucher
Learn More

11 huge events coming to Gladstone in the next 6 months

Events coming up in Gladstone in 2017.

Your guide to exciting events coming to the Gladstone region

Summer SUNfest kicks off

SunFest Lazer shoot-out in the Tondoon Botanic Gardens January 11, 2016. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

Tickets for SUNfest are selling fast, so get in quickly.

The surprising problem police face at Woodford Folk Festival

STREET SCENE: Woodford Folk Festival 2016.

The biggest issue for police at Woodfordia is not what you'd expect

REVIEW: Undressed is more than titilating entertainment

Nathan and Tahlia meet for the first time on the TV series Undressed.

'DIVERSE' dating show goes more than skin deep.

Will there be a Game of Thrones spin-off?

Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage in a scene from season six episode 10 of Game of Thrones.

HBO’S original programming president has teased fans.

Time for Gladstone to kick up their heels

Dancer Tamara Drake will be teaching the kids of Gladstone to express themselves through dance.

These dance the kids will love

Ed Sheeran's intimate gigs down under

Singer Ed Sheeran

CHART-topper playing invite-only shows in Australia next month.

Eddie McGuire's scandal-free focus and new-look Hot Seat

Eddie McGuire hosts the new Millionaire Hot Seat Super Game.

HOST wants out of the hot seat himself to focus on game show revamp.

Embattled Amber Sherlock back on TV after leaked video

Amber Sherlock seems to have brushed off the leaked video

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

What a year 2016 proved to be

Entrance Island, Birtinya

Get the inside info from the agents themselves

REVEALED: What Coast wants in an international airport

Sunshine Coast business people share their views on what's needed

Time for a cool change

43 Eckersley Ave, Buderim.

Family home goes to the auction floor

Designer home set in lush tropical gardens

This home has it all and more

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!