ACCC vehicle retail study a chance to get data rights right


The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) market study into the New Car Retailing Industry as an important step in safeguarding the right of consumers to choose the vehicle repairer of their choice. 

AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “Australia is on the cusp of a ‘telematics’ revolution which is already seeing new vehicles gather more information than ever before about drivers; and transmit that information directly to the carmaker.

“Access to diagnostic information is critical to ensuring cars are properly serviced. So with the amount of data produced by cars set to skyrocket and the rights to that data to become even more important to consumers, it is timely for the ACCC to examine whether there has been a lack of access to vehicle service and repair data, and if so, whether it has caused consumer detriment or created barriers to entry for independent servicing and repair businesses.”

The AAA also welcomes the ACCC’s focus upon the adequacy and accuracy of fuel consumption and vehicle emissions information provided to Australian consumers.

“The Australian Government currently performs no independent or real-world testing of vehicle manufacturer claims when it comes to the emissions and fuel usage of new cars sold in Australia. As a result, Fuel Consumption Labels on vehicle windscreens are based on laboratory tests largely performed overseas, and in some cases by the carmaker. It is critical that we ascertain the degree to which these resemble the actual fuel use and emissions profile of the vehicle when used on Australian roads.

“The failure to adequately audit manufacturer compliance with current or future emissions standards will see Australians at risk of paying much more than they expected to run their new car.

“For most Australians a vehicle is one of the biggest purchases they will make. With the average household spending around $17,000 a year on transport, it’s very important their rights to privacy, repairer choice and fair running costs are maintained,” Mr Bradley said.

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