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Independents get e-key to VW repair information

Volkswagen AG has revised its electronic repair and servicing information guide to improve access for independent garages. The move pre-empts block exemption reform due in September which is expected to open up the market to sub-contracted independents and require carmakers to make all technical information available.

The electronic repair and workshop information service (Erwin) claims to detail everything a garage needs to know about repairing and servicing Volkswagen cars and light commercials. It is supplied online, though costs vary depending on the level of repair information required.

Independent garages can source all basic repair data for VW cars and more in-depth information on engines, gearboxes, brakes and electrical systems. Study programmes for training are also available.

“This self-service agreement is ideal for independents that do a lot of repair work on VW cars and especially LCVs,” says a company spokesman. “Post-block exemption we expect most of our retailers will want to retain servicing and repairing business, but there will be more work for independents as long as they meet the required standard.”

Renault, meanwhile, is offering independent workshops access to testing and reconditioning services for Engine Control Units for most makes of car in a move that offers an additional revenue scheme for its dealers. The scheme, a first tie-up between the reconditioning division Renault Service Exchange and the company's all-makes Motrio parts range, promises a 48-hour turnaround from pick up of a faulty unit to the return of a tested or remanufactured units, complete with two-year warranty. A link-up for other all-makes reconditioned parts is not ruled out.

The scheme, which also operates via Nissan dealers, is targeted at cars aged three to 10 years old, which generally fall outside the franchised network. It acknowledges the growing role of independents in the service and repair of cars.

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