The independent aftermarket has won its battle to secure a special Block Exemption Regulation for the sector.
With just days to go before the current regulation expires, the European Commission announced this morning that it has formally adopted the new legislation.
The new rules will apply from June 1, 2010 and comprise a Block Exemption Regulation focused specifically on the aftermarket. This is accompanied by sector-specific guidelines.
The new rules will increase competition in the market for repair and maintenance by improving access to technical information and by making it easier to use alternative spare parts.
They will also allow the Commission to tackle manufacturers’ abuse of warranties when they request that cars are serviced only in authorised garages.
Under the rules, vehicle manufacturers will no longer be able to make the warranty conditional on having the oil changed or other car services only in authorised garages.
Michel Vilatte, president of FIGIEFA, the organisation which led the European Right to Repair Campaign, said: â€œThe new set of rules is a good step in the right direction in the form of a clear message addressed towards the vehicle manufacturers.â€
That message, he said is: â€œIndependent operators must have access to repair and maintenance information, the free flow of original spare parts supplied by parts manufacturers and of spare parts of matching quality should not be impeded and the vehicle manufacturersâ€™ warranties, whether contractual or extended, should not be made conditional upon the exclusive servicing in the authorised repair network.”