The UK’s Independent Garage Association (IGA) wants changes to the way brand-specific technical information is made available to independent repairers.

“[It] must be changed,” said IGA director Ray Holloway, commenting on a recent conference – organised by the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs (CECRA) – where manufacturers were identified for failing to give adequate technical information to independent garages.

Holloway added: “The [European Union] Block Exemption Regulation requires that vehicle manufacturers make technical information available to all businesses that have a need for it. If this does not happen, businesses in the retail motor sector will suffer.

“The IGA reiterates that consumers have a choice of where to take their vehicle for repair:  those independent garages that have made the investment, have the equipment, and have undertaken the relevant training to meet the exacting standards of the recommended manufacturer service schedule must be able to access all the necessary information they need in order to do their jobs effectively.”

Holloway also said: “As consumers are the industry’s lifeblood, they must have every confidence in their available services, both franchised and independent.
Therefore, strong competition is essential and healthy for all concerned in the motor industry, and the IGA will champion the cause of those who wish to benefit from fair, unbiased trading terms and practices.

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“It is reassuring to know that the European Commission is closely monitoring this situation.”