THE Right to Repair in SA campaign rallied support from major industry stakeholders over the last few months.
The campaign, dubbed R2RSA, sees independent mechanics lobby original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for specifications and information that will enable them to repair older cars that are out of warrantee. The OEMs see these rights as proprietary and naturally prefer to keep customers in their own workshops.
Richard Clarke, chairperson of the not-for-profit Section 21 company R2RSA, says more and more industry players are realising the importance of the campaign and the change it will bring to the industry.
“We are now active in the press and marketing the campaign so we can get sponsors on board to assist us in aggressively driving this campaign forward. The response so far has been very positive and we expect more and more support as the campaign progresses,” he said.
Big names such as Goldwagen, MAHLE, Bosch, Autoboys, Tenneco, Bilstein, AAAS, Samuels Service Centre and Alert Engine Parts have all come on board as Tier 1 sponsors. The Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), which initially championed the Right to Repair Campaign, and GUD Holdings, which includes brands such as Safeline, Indyoil, Fram and GUD, have pledged the bulk of the sponsorship to date.
“The Right to Repair campaign directly affects consumers who are being denied the right to have their vehicle repaired at a workshop of their choice. We believe now is the time to give consumers and industry stakeholders a voice and a way to get involved,” said Clarke. “Our objective is to raise awareness and ultimately bring about legislative change.”
He said this will also give aftermarket workshops access to information essential to servicing vehicles.
“Denying workshops the chance to repair vehicles because of warranties and access to information has allowed original equipment manufacturers to monopolise the automotive industry. If there is no change, workshops will no longer be able to service new vehicles sold in five years’ time.”
He said with all industry stakeholders coming together to fight for the changes, it was only a matter of time before legislative changes follow. “We have seen these changes happen in Europe, the UK, USA and Australia. South Africa’s time in now.” Those wanting to support the campaign as a sponsor can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Peugeot has meanwhile launched the Peugeot Economy Service Programme for Peugeot and Citroën cars that are out of warranty.
Francisco Gaie, MD of Peugeot Citroën SA, said the Peugeot Economy service parts were on average 30% cheaper than “genuine parts”. - Supplied.