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A National Industry Sector Committee of the Motor Trades Association of Australia

Advocacy Activities

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On 14 December 2018, the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) welcomed the final report of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) 18 month Market Study into New Car Retailing and urged industry and Government to now get on with adopting the recommendations and actions.

To assist independent automobile dealers to understand the proposed changes outlined in the ACCC report, MTAA provided a fact sheet for dealers (in additional to one for independent repairers) which included an overview of the report, highlights key points of the report for industry and outlines what MTAA’s next steps are in addressing a wide range of issues including franchising arrangements and the development of a mandatory scheme for car manufacturers to share technical repair information with independent repairers on commercially fair and reasonable terms.

To access the fact sheet for dealers please use the following link:  Download .pdf

MTAA supports efforts undertaken by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (Department) to replace the Motor Vehicle Standards Act (1989) with the Road Vehicle Standards Bill (RVSB) in order to harmonise Australian vehicle standards with international vehicle standards.

To ensure that the RVSB is relevant to the Australian context and there is no increased risk to consumers or Australian automotive businesses, MTAA provided to Government a detailed submission incorporating the concerns of MTAA member associations, AARA and it business members. Within the submission MTAA sought assurances that automotive businesses are not disadvantaged economically and legally; particularly those that retail, service, maintain, repair and modify automotive vehicles.

MTAA also provided recommendations including that Government:

  • Review and ensure effective integration and intersection of the RVSB into other key national legislation (i.e. Australian Consumer Law (ACL), Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA), etc.) to address issues such as warranties (particularly those involved in the modification approval process), product recalls and business to business relationships.
  • Consider proposed changes to national legislation (i.e. ACL, CCA, etc.) that have been recommended in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) New Car Retailing Market study including: provisions relating to consumer guarantees, warranties and minor and major product failures providing reasons for product recalls, and freedom of repair information for independent repairers (potentially being provided through the RVSB or ACL) and how this aligns with the RVSB.
  • Continue investigation to ensure that the harmonisation of Australian and International standards are relevant to the Australian market with the aim of protecting the economic interests and sustainability of the Australian automotive industry (and those industries which are dependent on automotive services) and the safety and security of consumers and businesses.
  • Make clear the information requirements of Model Reports (MRs) and how Government will ensure that the commercial activities surrounding the sale and application of MRs are not anti-competitive or disadvantage low volume importers.
  • Remove subjectivity on what constitutes retail items used as components for road vehicles and those automotive components that are incorporated under the RVSB.
  • Provide clarity on the implications of making modifications to the vehicle after the first time the vehicle is provided to market, e.g. roll over protection systems for quad bikes and implements for farm equipment, and automotive performance accessories.

To access the MTAA Submission to the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities regarding the proposed introduction of the Road Vehicles Standards Bill please use the following link.  Download .pdf

MTAA and its member associations are providing advice to business constituents, including independent mechanical repairers, so that they are aware and can comply with the biggest product recall in Australian automotive history.

MTAA is also advocating to the ACCC to ensure that the recall does not adversely affect automotive business and have been influential in persuading the ACCC to make changes to recall requirements to address shortcomings / issues identified by MTAA member associations and their business constituents.

MTAA is also advocating that the ACCC provide clarity to industry on recall requirements including undertaking a national information roadshow to assist compliance from industry and to ensure automotive businesses understand their responsibilities and obligations.

MTAA is providing to its member associations comprehensive and current information updates so that business members have increased clarity over recall requirements.


On Wednesday 28 February 2018, the Federal Government announced a compulsory recall for all vehicles with defective Takata airbags following an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation.

The Government acted because the ACCC investigation provided evidence that:

  • a reasonably foreseeable use of vehicles with defective Takata airbags may cause injury to drivers and/or passengers, and
  • one or more suppliers of vehicles with defective Takata airbags have not taken satisfactory action to prevent those vehicles causing injury to drivers and/or passengers.

A number of vehicle suppliers have voluntarily recalled vehicles fitted with defective Takata airbags in Australia. The compulsory recall requires all suppliers of vehicles with defective Takata airbags to recall all affected vehicles in Australia and to replace the airbag device.

The compulsory recall specifies the manner and timing of the recall activity, which may be different to recall activity under the voluntary recalls. Suppliers face penalties if they don’t meet the requirements in the compulsory recall.

A compulsory recall doesn’t compel consumers to bring in their vehicles for replacement of the airbag, but it does require vehicle suppliers to undertake various obligations which will facilitate the recall and replacement of affected airbags.

The compulsory recall applies to:

  • all vehicles that are subject to existing Takata voluntary recalls, and
  • approximately 1.3 million additional vehicles that have not been voluntarily recalled.

It is the responsibility of vehicle suppliers and manufacturers and not independent repair businesses or consumers to replace the Takata air bags in affected vehicles.

Vehicles that require the replacement of airbags are identified by their VIN number and can be identified by using the following links:

Suppliers are required to submit a Recall Initiation Schedule to the ACCC by April 2018. The schedule will advise consumers with an affected vehicle when their vehicle will be recalled. The Recall Notice,requires independent second hand / used vehicle dealers to clearly communicate the serious safety risk and the need for future replacement to prospective purchasers prior to the sale of any vehicle with an affected Takata Airbag Inflator. The Recall Notice also prohibits the sale of vehicles with affected Takata Airbag Inflators that are under ‘active’ recall by a vehicle manufacturer.

The difference between ‘active’ versus ‘future’ is explained below.

  • Independent second hand / used vehicle dealers must ensure that they comply with their obligations under the Recall Notice or may face financial penalties for contravening the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

The attached information briefs by MTAA have been written to assist MTA Members and have been examined by the ACCC to ensure compliance and correctness.

To access the MTAA provided Takata air bag recall information briefs please access the following links:

  • MTAA Takata Airbag Information Brief No. 1 (1 March 2018).  Download .pdf
  • MTAA Takata Airbag Information Brief No. 2 (3 April 2018).  Download .pdf

For more information on the Takata airbag recall please access the ACCC Product Safety website using the following link:

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