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Right to repair challenge to BER evaluation

The leaders of the Right To Repair Campaign (R2RC) plan to challenge the accuracy of the recent evaluation of the Block Exemption Regulation.

It says it has highlighted several mistakes in the annexes of the European Commission’s report, which could have led to a distorted view of how effective the BER has been in the aftermarket.

In one instance, the EC includes views of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry on the UK market – a market in which it is not involved.

“If the commission can get that wrong we have to wonder what else in the annexes is wrong,” said Bob Davis of Figiefa, the European after-market trade body behind the R2RC campaign.

“Figiefa is looking for factual inaccuracies and signs of information being filtered to suit a fundamental conclusion.”

Jim Mazza, R2RC UK chairman, said the lobby group has made contact with MEPs, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the National Consumer Council and the Office of Fair Trading.

It wants independent repairers and component suppliers to be able to compete equally with the franchised sector, with access to technical information, spare parts and freedom to service any marque.

If independents are not provided with these, through a revised BER, thousands could go out of business.

“It’s frightening to see the threat to the independent market. Independent garages over time would only be able to work on the older vehicles. That car parc is rapidly diminishing, so businesses would eventually close.”

Bringing its cause to the attention of consumers will be crucial to its campaign. R2RC is preparing a campaign DVD, and will be lobbying the public at the British International Motor Show next month.

“Now we need people to start to make a noise,” said Mazza.

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