European automotive supplier body CLEPA says it will have no choice but to take at least one carmaker to court if its pleas for fair access to repair and maintenance information (RMI) are not heeded.

The issue has been at the forefront of CLEPA's lobbying agenda for some time and has been particularly driven by outgoing CEO, Lars Holmqvist, but it now appears the Brussels body has reached the end of its tether.

"The only thing we ask for is every garage should have the same information - we don't want any favours," Holmqvist said at this week's CLEPA annual reception in the Belgian capital. "We could take one car maker to court and we could also ask the European Commission [EC] to clarify without any doubt how this [RMI] should be done.

"I think and I hope we can find an agreement before that, as it is not very nice to have to take someone to court, but if nothing else happens, we will have to do it."

The CLEPA CEO noted the EC was still trying to "push" automakers into providing a voluntary agreement, but that relatively little progress had been made in allowing customers to go to the garage of their choice and which could also be the nearest.

CLEPA's long-held view is individual operators are excluded from repairing cars and maintains the situation will only become worse if not addressed.

"We have come to the point where we are fed up," said Holmqvist. "We have talked to the carmakers for one year and we have not reached an agreement which is satisfactory.

"When you buy a car you just don't borrow it - you should have all the necessary information. There is a directive from the EC and it is quite clear. Still there is no will of co-operation, so we feel we have to take it further."

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