Dealer service vs indy workshop: No effect on new car warranties

THE Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) launched a consumer information kit for independent automotive workshops to help educate customers about their legal rights when it comes to servicing cars during their new vehicle warranty period.

Included is a take-home brochure for customers that the AAAA says is “designed to directly challenge the myths and misinformation perpetrated by vehicle manufacturers and their dealers”.

AAAA member workshops can also offer free legal support through the association, in the case that a customer has a valid warranty claim rejected on the basis that the car was serviced outside the dealership or had aftermarket parts fitted.

The information pack makes it clear to customers that there is no requirement under Australian Consumer Law for a vehicle to be serviced by an authorised dealer or need to fit ‘genuine’ parts in order for consumer guarantees to apply.

It also clarifies the difference between manufacturer and extended warranties supplied by vehicle dealers.

‘Truth About New Car Servicing’ was officially launched at the Australian Aftermarket Expo in Melbourne earlier this month and is the third in a series of AAAA educational campaigns, following up ‘Truth About Genuine Parts’ and ‘Truth About Capped Price Servicing’.

AAAA executive director Stuart Charity described the consumer kit as part of his organisation’s commitment to “ensure that the automotive service and repair sector becomes a more open, fair and competitive market”.

“This customer information kit tackles head on the misinformation about car servicing and warranties that car manufacturers and their dealerships have promoted for many years,” he said.

“Each kit includes in-store merchandising to capture customers’ attention, a stock of educational brochures to provide car owners with the facts and information to help business owners answer their customers’ questions.”

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