IGA welcomes EU findings on access to technical information

Published 01/12/2014 00:00:00 in Press Releases

Findings from the European Commission’s review into the process of access to vehicle repair and maintenance information have been welcomed as ‘another major step forward’ by the Independent Garage Association (IGA).

At the end of 2013, the Commission appointed Ricardo-AEA, a UK based agency, to carry out a study on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information for independent operators, and the results have confirmed the IGA’s stance that although the situation has improved in recent years, we are still some distance from a “level playing field”.

The report states that ‘in order to be competitive, independent repairers need to be able to access the technical information necessary to repair vehicles,’ and concludes that  ‘technical information is increasingly important due to the greater complexity of vehicles, the growing number of parts and more use of on-board electronics.’ The report agrees with the IGA’s long running stance that ‘certain obstacles are still apparent to varying degrees depending on the OEM and specific type of information required, which is likely to weaken competition between authorised and independent repairers.”

Stuart James, IGA Director commented, “The IGA has played a key role in lobbying the European Commission to start this consultation and the results are another major step forward for the independent garage sector. The findings confirm what we have been saying for a long time – that independent operators need to be able to access technical information in a consistent and cost effective manner in order to remain competitive in a busy market and provide greater choice for consumers. We are delighted that the voices of our members are being heard in Europe.”

In the report, Ricardo-AEA put forward a number of recommendations for levelling the playing field when it comes to manufacturer technical information. These include a more efficient monitoring and enforcement system and a consistent administrative procedure for complaints. The issue of telematics was identified as an ‘emerging challenge’ and the report suggests harmonisation with international standards and European legislation is crucial to ensure independent operators are not pushed out of the servicing and repair loop for modern vehicles.

The Commission’s results have been published at a time when independent garages have been boosted by recent advances in the parallel fight to gain access to manufacturer security technical information. The launch of the new SERMI (Security related Repair and Maintenance Information) website was recently hailed by the IGA as a victory for its membership.



About the Independent Garage Association

The RMI’s Independent Garage Association is the largest and most prominent representative body in the independent garage sector. It acts as the voice of the industry in matters arising in the UK Government and Europe regarding legislative and regulatory issues.

Made up of highly experienced business owners from the independent aftermarket sector, the IGA aims to support and encourage independent garages to thrive in all aspects of their business by offering advice, information and service which ensure that the independent service and repair sector can remain efficient, and competitive in an increasingly complex business landscape.

Rupal Rawal, Communications Officer
Tel: 020 7307 3412
Mob: 07528 977 157
Press Office direct line: 020 7307 3422
Press Office fax: 020 7307 3406

Web: www.rmif.co.uk  Email: rupal.rawal@rmif.co.uk

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