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European trade body hits out at manufacturers' authorised repairer contracts

The FNA, a French independent garage association, which speaks for the EASRA federation of associations in seven EU countries, has complained that manufacturers are not acting in the spirit of the new Block Exemption Regulation in respect of authorised repairer standards.

It blames them for exerting extra pressure on dealers by withholding in many cases contract details up to just three weeks before the Regulation comes into force on 1 October, and describes many requirements for authorisation as economic deterrents to applicants rather than genuine qualitative criteria. Instances mentioned by the FNA's open letter to manufacturers include brand-specific diagnostic systems, obligatory but seldom used tooling, and incompatible requirements relating to signage and other branding issues which make it impractical for independent repairers to economically fulfil the EU's aim of establishing multi-brand authorised repair workshops.

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