Prudence still needed with Right to Repair freedom

Leading aftermarket parts manufacturer, G.U.D. Holdings, is on a mission to ensure motorists, workshops and spares retailers are well informed of their rights and responsibilities within the framework of the revised Competition Commission guidelines. These afford vehicle owners the right to repair or service their vehicles at an independent provider of their choice, with the parts of their choice, without voiding their vehicle warranty.

The Right to Repair Campaign, consisting of stakeholders in the automotive industry, has been lobbying the Competitions Commission since before 2018 to allow fair trade when it comes to repairing and servicing vehicles that are in warranty.

Ian Law, Sales Director at G.U.D. Holdings and a Committee Member of Right to Repair said the new Competition Commission Regulations that became effective on 1 July 2021 is welcomed by premium aftermarket parts manufacturers and the automotive industry as a whole. He did recommend that “It is vital that all involved clearly understand the guidelines, as there are certain conditions that must be adhered to by service providers and motorists alike to ensure that vehicle warranties are honored by vehicle manufacturers.”

Motorists and service providers in the automotive industry, such as workshops should take the following measures to protect their warranty:

  • Only fit parts that are OE equivalent quality, in other words, parts that meet or exceed the vehicle manufacturers recommended service intervals.
  • Use parts that have a comprehensive product warranty, should a part fail for any reason, the motorist or workshop may seek recourse from the part manufacturer.
  • Ensure that vehicles are serviced according to the vehicle manufacturers’ specifications and within the recommended service interval periods.
  • Make certain that they provide good workmanship.

“The revised guidelines afford manufacturers the right to decline the warranty if they find a warranty-related failure is due to faulty workmanship, incorrect service procedures or the use of inferior quality parts,” he said. “With this in mind, we want motorists to be responsible with their new rights and ensure they avoid placing themselves in a position that would jeopardise or invalidate their warranty cover”.

Furthermore, workshops and fitment centres should ensure that they are covered by sufficient insurance should they have to make good on a warranty claim, which for reason of poor workmanship or parts, is voided by the vehicle manufacturer. The Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA) stipulates that the liability will then lie with the service provider (the workshop) and/or the parts suppliers. “This means those who are insufficiently insured or do not offer warranties on their products could be left with expensive burdens, should something go wrong,” said Law.

Motorists should be discerning and choose workshops that have insurance cover and make use of reputable parts that are OE quality – in other words, on par with the vehicle’s Original Equipment (OE) – and have a good warranty, Law explained. “Should there be a manufacturer warranty issue, the motorist should have peace of mind that the workshop and parts are sufficiently covered to protect them,” he said.

The new guidelines are designed to ensure a fair and competitive regulatory environment that enables freedom of choice for the consumers and that gives aftermarket SMEs a chance to stay in business. This cause has been internationally championed by the Right to Repair Campaign (R2R), an international information campaign on behalf of the many that care about the future of the multi-brand automotive aftermarket. In South Africa, the campaign is run by Right to Repair South Africa NPC and supported by its members, including the not-for-profit Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), which represents 2500 Independent Workshops; Automotive Aftermarket Distributors and Automotive Component Manufacturers, such as G.U.D Holdings’ with brands – Safeline, Indy Oil, FRAM and G.U.D. Filters.

For more information please contact:

Yashtee Sookdew
Corporate Communications Coordinator
G.U.D. Holdings (Pty) Ltd
Tel: 031 910 3112