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Manufacturers want to limit non dealers serviceing.

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Jaqhama, May 25, 2006.

  1. I heard a similar story to that below last year in Oz, a certain motorcycle manufacturer that sells a lot of bikes here, was unwilling to sell the diagnostic equipment to non brand dealers and private owners.

    URGENT CALL TO ACTION-- The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports the United States House of Representatives will hold a legislative hearing on HR 2048, the "Right to Repair Act". The hearing will be held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2123 at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, May 17th 2006 and is open to the public.

    This legislation is important to all motorcyclists who want the right to choose where to have their motorcycle repaired. HR 2048 would make the same computer diagnostic information, tools and training available to the owners of every type of vehicle including motorcycles that currently is only afforded to those under the dealership umbrella. The deliberate withholding of pertinent information compels independent repair facilities to turn business away forcing vehicle owners to return to the dealership when any kind of computer diagnostics is necessary.

    The MRF believes every American has the right to choose who performs the diagnostics on their motorcycle or automobile. Furthermore, consumers should have the right to choose where, how and who will ultimately repair their vehicles and also have the right to do the necessary work themselves. Automakers should not be making service decisions for consumers.
  2. Is this a new phenomenon? Triumph wouldn't sell me the "Game Boy" for my T595 almost ten years ago... I wouldn't have minded so much if they had a clue how to use it themselves. :roll:
  3. Cannot occur here without a drastic change in laws .. our Trade Practice laws are very strong and well tested/precedented.
  4. Man I would love more shops to buy the Benelli diagnostic equipment; it only aids unit sales to have more places that owners can get their bikes worked on.
  5. Absolutely. The car manufacturers tried this crap ages ago, and got their butt's kicked.
  6. Yeah this went through courts and stuff with the car manufacturers.
    Now they have standards like OBD2 or whatever so they cant force mechanics to buy their custom tools. And you can do basic servicing like oil without invalidating the warranty.

    The same will happen with bikes, if they dont play nice and make their interfaces available and afordable they will be forced onto open standards.
  7. don't suppose you can back this up?
  8. http://n5.se/2h9

    (Link shortened - Mod)
  9. that doesn't say the manufacturer has to back you up if you aren't a licensed motor mechanic.

    Can you confirm your claim in the manner in which it would apply to us as owners, not mechanics?

    For example, I design aircraft for a living - I create drawings that tell the manufacturer how to make something, out of what to make it and how to finish it and test it. I create documentation that tells the guy with the spanner how to pick up the part, how to install it, what tool to use and how to use the tool - but the law says i'm not allowed to do it myself.

    If what you say is true, then i don't have to worry so much about my own vehicle servicing in regard to warranty claims - however i'm not sure that this is the case.
  10. I'm interested in that answer too.

    Bonox, you are of course right in your aircraft analogy if we are talking about a VH registered a/c requiring a LAME, but a recreational aircraft registered with RAAus can be fully serviced by its owner providing the maintenance schedule is itself approved and adhered to. As I'm sure you are aware, this can often be exactly the same aircraft type differentiated only by registration category. I suspect that the car/bike situation may be similar, I.E if you adhere to the manufacturers schedule the warranty is protected, but like you, I'd like to see a definitive answer.
  11. Certainly Inci.

    I think in the case of motor vehicles, the only analogous line in the sand the car manufacturers could draw in terms of operation would be domestic or commercial (possibly by registration?). ie would the rest of us as other drivers on the road be happy with 'civilian' cars leaking oil everywhere because mr home mechanic didn't replace the rocker cover gasket but not commercial trucks doing the same?

    I'm not saying that mechanics are bulletproof, and this indeed is one reason i like to do my own servicing, but in qld and vic there is no annual registration check to pick up on home mechanics dodgy work.

  12. You raise an interesting question there. Is the Road Transport Industry regulated in this way, I.E do large commercial vehicles, road-trains, buses etc have to be maintained to a legally imposed schedule?

    Here in WA we have no roadworthy annual inspection either, and you do see some absolute deathtraps on the road. The police here can stop a vehicle and issue a 'yellow sticker' which means it cannot be driven again until inspected, or a 'red sticker' which condems the vehicle to the scrap-heap.
  13. no idea mate, but i have a feeling from knowing the owner of a school bus that in nsw at least they have a number of inspections, by or from who i don't know. He gave the impression that commercial vehicles carrying people had more to go through than goods transports.

    He was also the one who had the rta/police on his arse for speeding fines in sydney (pictures of a car) when the plate was registered to his bus. you'd think the powers that be might have worked this out. I can understand why manf. want their certified dealers to do servicing if they think we as a machining using group are just as smart as the coppers in this case.
  14. Exactly what did they try?

    Under the TPA you have the right to choose your repairer. What the manufacturers can justly insist on is that for warranty purposes your vehicle is serviced by a qualified tradesman/technician. Of course, for warranty work, it should be returned to a dealer.

    As for the sale of diagnostic equipment to non-manufacturer repairers or private individuals, I believe that they still have the right to choose who they wish to sell stuff to, just like any business does, whether it's Kmart flogging toasters or whatever.

    What shouldn't be banned is the manufacture and sale of third party diagnostic equipment that doesn't infringe patents or copyright protection of the OEM's test gear.

    Of course, if you have a dealer who can't operate his equipment and delivers poor service, it's up to the consumer (read bike owner/bike shop customer) to complain to the distributor/importer/manufacturer. And if necessary, go elsewhere.

    What the US bill is proposing is that non-dealer service centres be allowed to forcibly purchase the manufacturer's equipment. Of course if it came to that, you can bet that the cost of the gear would treble, and that official dealer/repairers would probably have some sort of rebate agreement in place. That is, of course, an anti-trust suit is lodged....
  15. mjt - they tried forcing you to return to their own dealers for servicing in order to honour warranties. The right to unlicensed people was never part of the debate.

    "Under the TPA you have the right to choose your repairer. What the manufacturers can justly insist on is that for warranty purposes your vehicle is serviced by a qualified tradesman/technician. Of course, for warranty work, it should be returned to a dealer. "

    This was the crux of the problem - any licensed mechanic wasn't good enough - they wanted it to be their own dealers exclusively.

    As for sale of diagnostic equipment - it is a restrictive practice - sure you can go buy a toaster from someone else in your case; can't do that with equipment for a car.
  16. Personally, I can't see the problem here. Sure, it means that only the dealers can get the right equipment. But as a philosophy, it means that you're forcing someone to sell stuff to parties that they may not wish to sell stuff to.

    At least with the current situation, you're more or less assured that whoever's going to be working on your bike should have some factory training behind him. Should have, that is. Whether they do or not is another issue, separate to that about whether we have to get our Hondas serviced by Honda dealers in order to cover warranty provisions. And that, under the TPA, and restraint of trade provisions, isn't allowed.
  17. you may not be able to see the problem, but the ACCC can.

    The law in this country restricts a manufacturers ability to supply goods to the public on a closed shop basis - ie after you have bought it, you should be able to do what you like with it, inclusive of being able to obtain all relevant servicing and maintenance information, parts and diagnostic equipment. Whether or not you can't see the problem in a company wanting to restrict service to their own dealers is irrelevant to the law in the country.

    btw, how is a factory trained guy different to me with a Honda factory service manual and all of their tools?
  18. btw, a retailer is also under obligation to sell to anyone if they advertise a product on the open market and the customer is willing and able to pay for it. There are exceptions (eg knives to minors etc) but not many.

    Besides, the manufacturer has no control over sale of their goods - that falls to their dealers. If you want to handle contract sales that includes servicing contracts, then that is ok under the TPA and as far as the ACCC is concerned (ie that tends to be how fleet sales work). Separating sale and maintenance by restrictive supply of the correct information and tools however is anti-competitive.
  19. Um, no they're not.

    When a trader makes something for sale, it's called "an offer to treat" in legalese. The law also allows for the trader to withdraw that item from sale if it so wishes. For example, you bring a toaster to the checkout at Kmart. It's discovered that the displayed price is incorrect. It has the right to withdraw that toaster from sale, so it can correct the price that's displayed. Or if it wishes to, it can sell it to you at the different price, and you have the option as to whether you wish to buy it or not at the amended price.

    In a free market economy you can't force a trader or whatever to sell its goods to all and sundry. A typical example are closed auctions where only a particular trade is invited. Fowles auctions for used cars where only dealers can attend is a typical example.

    If you think that the Trade Practices Act can force Honda or Ducati to sell their diagnostic equipment to private repairers, or that there is a law that outlaws the practice of it choosing to whom they wish to sell their gear, I'd like to see it. If nothing else, it will educate me, and perhaps others here who may be still reading this thread.
  20. mjt - the system of fair trade breaks down if you let retailers publish advertising for items at a price and then fail to deliver - either because they are bait advertising and have no stock, or even if they have stock u pto their eyeballs but refuse to sell those products to anyone.

    An offer to treat is just that! It implies that the seller is willing to put the item up for sale and actually sell it rather than cast about looking for offers. If you had a unique item to sell, choosing to whom you sell it is regarded as reasonable; advertising for bulk goods among many distributors (all all honda motor dealers) is not - besides, you missed my point about the difference between the manufacturer and the dealer.

    By hook or by crook I can obtain a new motor vehicle (let's say a honda bike). The TPA was put to the test a few years ago when non-dealer mechanics put u pa fight about how they were being pushed out of business because the manufacturers would not sell them the equipment required to service their vehicles according to the manufacturers requirements.

    Whether you like it or not, the private dealers motivations were upheld and in australia, you cannot sell general items to the public and restrict their operations by holding availability of parts, information or equipment. Note that the same still applies once the vehicle is no longer in the original owners hands and still applies even if there are no longer any licensed dealers/workshops in the whole feckin country - would you prefer than honda made available their little computer reading widget so you could fix their product, even if they pulled out of the country tommorrow?

    Besides, you are moving onto a different tack to the second original question, and i'm still interested in an answer to whether or not joe average can do his own oil changes without affecting warranties.