Auto Parts Recyclers
Association of Australia (APRAA)
Representing Auto Parts Recyclers on National Issues

Advocacy Activities

Read our latest advocacy activities

MTAA advocated strongly on behalf of its members and their business constituents so that the ACCC New Car Retailing Market Study focused on areas of their concern. In particular, MTAA and state and territory member associations advocated strongly for the ACCC to:

  • Confirm the impact and identify a solution to ensure fair and reasonable access and use of technical and repair information for independent mechanical and motor body repairers.
  • Examine concerns surrounding proposed changes to Australian Consumer Law definitions of major and minor faults, among other issues.

To ensure the ACCC focused on the needs of MTAA member associations’ business members, MTAA provided an in-depth submission and supplementary submission to the ACCC. These submissions included comprehensive overviews of the automotive industry (including case studies), highlighted the imbalance of the Franchising Code and Dealer Agreements in favour of manufacturers, the lack of clarity surrounding consumer guarantees and warranties, the impact of electronic logbooks and dealer stamps, and the limitations of access to repair information and data on new cars for independent repairers.

MTAA also provided the following recommendations to the ACCC:

  • The ACCC afford the automotive sector a further (and potentially final) opportunity to deliver a balanced, industry-led, solution that guarantees access to repair and maintenance information within a specific timeframe.
  • Such a solution should include the development and implementation of a process, mechanism or scheme for the accreditation, approval and authorisation to access all Repair and Maintenance Information (RMI) including security related information.
  • If the automotive sector cannot deliver such a solution within the specified timeframe then further consideration is given to the development and implementation of a Voluntary Code of Conduct oversighted by the ACCC.
  • The Franchising Code of Conduct requires either addendums or supplementary schedules to give prominence to the specific matters peculiar to the new car retailing industry and the ‘Dealer Agreements’ that are core to it.
  • Equal prominence must be afforded to the ‘complete picture’ of the new car market supply chain particularly the existence of multiple profit centres and value contributions.
  • Sanctioning out critical product offerings and profit centres such as insurance and finance risks undermining a complete understanding of the new car market.
  • Dealer Agreements and the relationship between manufacturers / distributors and dealers require deep analysis to properly understand the operating environment of new car retailers.
  • ACCC give more protection to automotive businesses under Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
  • Provide definitions in the ACL in relation to complex products such as motor vehicles. Specifically, the Australian Competition and Consumer Act 2010 should:
    • define a major fault;
    • define a minor fault;
    • define what constitutes reasonable time;
    • include businesses that purchase goods and services in the course of trading,including where they are held liable for the fault of a product supplied by a manufacturer;
    • in the definition of consumers; define the terms ‘unconscionable conduct’ and ‘misleading’ and ‘deceptive’ conduct ,and ‘reasonable person’; and
    • require plain English guidance for consumers, businesses, regulators and mediation and arbitrationproviders that are consistent and a common point of reference for all parties.
  • The obligations and responsibilities and roles of various actors within ACL be defined and an awareness and education program be developed and implemented nationwide to enhance the understanding andapplication of the ACL in relation to complex products such as new motor vehicles.
  • Lemon Laws are not to be pursued as a national policy, regulation, position, or solution to potential problems withan extremely small component of a market of over 1 million sales per annum or in addition to protections and guarantees already available in the ACL.
  • The introduction of ‘Lemon’ laws will create an unrealistic expectations of the types of claims that can be redressed and add to the level of grievance and agitation being experienced by those few consumers who are having difficulties, when compared to the overall market.
  • Further consideration be given to the potential for enhanced awareness and education of the provisions of the ACL including requested clarity and definition and their application from a consumer perspective.
  • The proper role and accountability of manufacturers and distributors in the delivery of effective warranty provisions and service work associated with warranties be investigated and better defined and included inany changes to the ACL and / or Franchising Code.
  • The role and accountabilities of Dealers in undertaking warranty work for a manufacturer / distributor be better defined and included in any changes to the ACL and / or Franchising Code.
  • The role and accountabilities of any other service provider in undertaking warranty work for a manufacturer/ distributor be better defined and included in any changes to the ACL and / or Franchising Code.

Please access the following links for the MTAA submission and supplementary submission into the ACCC New Car Retailing Market Study:

With currently over 800,000 vehicles removed from Australian roads annually and expected to increase, the imperative for Government and industry to develop a policy solution that minimizes the negative impacts on the environment and provides a sustainable business opportunity for industry is required. MTAA, and its member association, the Victoria Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) is advocating the Commonwealth Government to develop a vehicle end-of-life (EOL) recycling scheme that is cost neutral for government and promotes business opportunity and activity for the Automotive recycling and dismantling industry.

Australia is one of the only OECD countries without a deliberate, national coordinated strategy to deal with vehicles that have reached end of life naturally by age use or written off by accident or incident.

There is a significant opportunity for dismantlers / recyclers to benefit from the development of a EOL recycling scheme, but action from the Federal Government (Environment Australia) has been slow due to the potential cost and development of policies that cross multiple government and government departmental jurisdictions.

MTAA and VACC have taken it upon themselves to ‘unlock’ the basket by providing to Environment Australia and the Federal Minister a Policy Framework to demonstrate how such a scheme might work, how it could be funded (and self-funding) and the policy imperatives that would need to be legislated.

MTAA and VACC have in partnership with Monash University and Ducere Business School produced distinctive pieces of work which included:

  • Identifying average national de-commissioning costs.
  • Environmental compliance requirements by jurisdiction and against international best practice.
  • Differences in approaches to decommissioning /dismantling between recycler business models and jurisdiction.
  • An overview of what has been undertaken and is currently underway in other leading OECD countries including lessons learned and problems experienced
  • Financial modelling based on industry (manufacturer / importer) pays; consumer pays (registration or levy) or combination of both.

A consultant has been engaged to provide an approach to finalisation of the policy framework and stakeholder and political engagement strategy with a view to either proceeding with the suggested pathway or MTAA proceeding on its own. The aim is to have draft policy and macro operating suggestions before the Minister by mid-2018.

APRAA members have played a key advisory role in the development work thus far. Their in-depth industry knowledge has provided technical and business input into policy frameworks so that any developed solution is practical and appropriate to the business operations of recyclers and dismantlers.

MTAA supports efforts undertaken by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (Department) to replace the Motor Vehicle Standards Act (1989) with the Road Vehicle Standards Bill (RVSB) in order to harmonise Australian vehicle standards with international vehicle standards.

To ensure that the RVSB is relevant to the Australian context and there is no increased risk to consumers or Australian automotive businesses, MTAA provided to Government a detailed submission incorporating the concerns of MTAA member associations, AARA and it business members. Within the submission MTAA sought assurances that automotive businesses are not disadvantaged economically and legally; particularly those that retail, service, maintain, repair and modify automotive vehicles.

MTAA also provided recommendations including that Government:

  • Review and ensure effective integration and intersection of the RVSB into other key national legislation (i.e. Australian Consumer Law (ACL), Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA), etc.) to address issues such as warranties (particularly those involved in the modification approval process), product recalls and business to business relationships.
  • Consider proposed changes to national legislation (i.e. ACL, CCA, etc.) that have been recommended in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) New Car Retailing Market study including: provisions relating to consumer guarantees, warranties and minor and major product failures providing reasons for product recalls, and freedom of repair information for independent repairers (potentially being provided through the RVSB or ACL) and how this aligns with the RVSB.
  • Continue investigation to ensure that the harmonisation of Australian and International standards are relevant to the Australian market with the aim of protecting the economic interests and sustainability of the Australian automotive industry (and those industries which are dependent on automotive services) and the safety and security of consumers and businesses.
  • Make clear the information requirements of Model Reports (MRs) and how Government will ensure that the commercial activities surrounding the sale and application of MRs are not anti-competitive or disadvantage low volume importers.
  • Remove subjectivity on what constitutes retail items used as components for road vehicles and those automotive components that are incorporated under the RVSB.
  • Provide clarity on the implications of making modifications to the vehicle after the first time the vehicle is provided to market, e.g. roll over protection systems for quad bikes and implements for farm equipment, and automotive performance accessories.

To access the MTAA Submission to the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities regarding the proposed introduction of the Road Vehicles Standards Bill please use the following link.  Download .pdf

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