ACCC Chairman Rod Sims has called on manufacturers to stop putting the squeeze on dealers through dealer agreements, policies and procedures and step up to meet their consumer guarantee obligations under the Australan Consumer Law.

He told delegates agttending the opening of the Australian Automotive Dealer Association Convention at the Internatonal Convention Centre, at Darling Harbour Sydney there was an inbalance in the manufacturer-dealer relationship which imposes significant cost on dealers that ultimately affects consumers.

Rod Sims addresses a packed audience at the Auto-IT breakfast

Mr Sims said the ACCC believes some car manufacturers have policies and procedures about how dealers respond to consumer guarantee or warranty claims that may limit a dealer’s ability to provide a car refund, replacement or repair to a consumer.

He said many dealers believe that if they do not comply with manufacturers’ requirements, their franchise  or dealer agreement will be put at risk.

Dealers have a responsibility to meet their legal obligations under the ACL as do manufacturers, by not adopting commercial arrangements that stifle consumer law rights.

If they do, he said, remedies are available to dealers.

“Where a dealer believes that dealer agreement provisions, policies or procedures may breach the Franchising Code of Conduct, or the Competition and Consumer Act more generally, dealers can always report this to the ACCC for consideration,” Mr Sims said.