ACMA joins global ‘Right to Repair’ movement for vehicles

Across the globe, consumers are facing a significant threat to their right to repair their vehicles at the auto repair shop of their choice.

Auto component industry body ACMA recently said it has joined other global associations to give support to the global right to repair movement. The Automotive Components Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) said it has become party to the new right to repair position statement to support the automotive aftermarket.

Across the globe, consumers are facing a significant threat to their right to repair their vehicles at the auto repair shop of their choice. With vehicles increasingly becoming like cellphones, connected wirelessly at all times. These connected vehicles collect thousands of data points on the health of vehicle systems and then transmit this to the automakers obstructing access to the independent repair shops.

Globally, the automotive aftermarket keeps 1.5 billion vehicles on the road while contributing USD 1.8 trillion to the global economy. After vehicles exit their warranty period, independent repair shops perform 70 per cent of the repairs.

“This vibrant industry and the consumer choice that it creates is being threatened by automotive manufacturers that block access to wirelessly transmitted vehicle repair and maintenance data,” ACMA said in a statement. Without the convenience and choice of independent parts and repair, especially in suburban and rural communities, consumers will have limited access to affordable vehicle service and repair, it added.

These restrictions can have devastating effects on local economies and the well-being and safety of millions that rely on vehicle transportation daily, ACMA stated. The aftermarket in India contributes USD 10.1 billion to the economy and is one of the fastest growing segments of the auto components industry, it said.

ACMA Director General Vinnie Mehta said, “ACMA has joined this global movement to express solidarity with other international likeminded associations across automotive nations for unshackling the aftermarket.” Besides, it is very encouraging that the Ministry of Consumer Affair, Food & Public Distribution has already taken the initiative of creating a framework for Right to Repair, he added.

The products to be covered under this regulation will include automotive products as well, Mehta said.

“A legislation such as Right to Repair will unleash the aftermarket in India and help it evolve into an organised sector. Globally, the size of the aftermarket is as large as the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) supply, however in India it is just 18 per cent of the overall USD 56.5 billion auto components market,” Mehta said.

Globally, the right to repair movement originated from the US. Already, Australia and South Africa have successfully retained their drivers’ right to repair their vehicles.