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Independent aftermarket industry launches Right to Repair campaign

Representatives from the aftermarket industry launched a European-wide Right to Repair campaign at Equip Auto in a bid to ‘safeguard consumer choice and effective competition for the vehicle replacement parts market’.

Sylvia Gotzen, spokeswoman for Right to Repair, said: “While technological innovations provide better emissions control as well as more safety and control, they have made it increasingly challenging to service or repair a vehicle.

“Fair and full access for independent market operators to technical information, multi-brand diagnostic tools as well as test equipment and replacement parts is more crucial than ever to be able to provide European motorists with the quality service they deserve.”

Motor vehicle block exemption regulation protects competition and consumer choice in the parts and repair sector will expire in 2010.

The Right to Repair campaign urges manufacturers to comply with block exemption regulations, particularly in light of the recent commitments by Toyota, Fiat, DaimlerChrysler and Opel on non-discriminatory access to technical information for independent operators, which were declared binding by the European Commission in September.

Michael Vilatte, board member of the FIGIFA, the international federation and political representative of the independent distributors of automotive replacement parts, believes that unless the industry acts now ‘the future of the independent aftermarket and the freedom of consumers is in jeopardy’.

Jacopo Moccia, general director of CECRA, the European Council for motor trades and repairs, said: “SMEs form the backbone of Europe’s independent multi-brand repair market. They help keep jobs and skills local and provide employment not only in major cities but also rural communities.”

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