There is a long-standing myth perpetuated by car manufacturers throughout Australia that if you plan on retaining your new car warranty, your vehicle must be serviced at a franchised dealer. This is false information that is still the gospel of some new car dealers and has been a problem for decades.
So, for the savvy new car owner such as yourself, what are your rights according to the law? The Australian government’s Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) makes it very clear on page 14 of this publication that a car owner is legally within their rights to choose who maintains and/or repairs their vehicle, as long as it is repaired by qualified staff, according to the manufacturer’s specification, and using appropriate quality parts where required.
Not only that, the ACCC states that independent repairers should have access to all relevant vehicle technical information for diagnoses and repair purposes, that is to say, the same technical information that the manufacturer provides to their authorised dealerships. Interestingly, since this verdict from the ACCC, there have been reports from many independent workshops that this information has not been shared with them, despite repeated requests. These consumer laws and guarantees are designed to protect your consumer rights and choice of repairer, and help to ensure that competition amongst independent workshops and authorised dealers remain fair.
It is common practice for manufacturers to give as little information as possible regarding your consumer rights, often through vague and confusing language. As an example, printing phrases like “only fill with genuine lubricants” in your owner’s manual suggests that you have to use genuine lubricants each and every time your car is serviced. However, what you may not be aware is that aftermarket premium oil manufacturers spend a lot of time and effort in making sure their products are eligible for official approval from vehicle manufacturers, and these approvals are nearly always published on the lubricant brand’s website. So in a nutshell, such products are considered ‘appropriate quality products’ and using them will not void your new car warranty.
However, it isn’t just oil brands going to huge lengths to prove that their products are up to the vehicle manufacturer’s task, most premium brands demonstrate through stringent design and engineering standards that their products meet or exceed the quality of the genuine part. For instance, Ryco Filters pride themselves on having Australasia’s only dedicated filtration laboratory at their HQ in Melbourne, meaning that each Ryco Filter is tested and proven to meet or exceed the specifications of the genuine filter, and so fitting a Ryco Filter will not void your new car warranty.
Lastly, as a savvy consumer, it is important that you have ‘appropriate quality parts’ fitted to your vehicle in order to protect your new car warranty. Unfortunately, there are plenty of less-than-scrupulous merchants in the marketplace selling parts that do not cut the mustard. At Spares Box, we pride ourselves on selling high-quality premium local and global brands that have been trusted for decades. Most of the brands we sell produce genuine (often referred to as OEM) parts for vehicle manufacturers too, so you can be sure that the quality is perfect.
The bottom line is this: you do have a choice in the parts and ‘repairer’ that you choose, and this can mean big savings. Remember, Spares Box is here to help with all things related to parts and servicing – so if you need further information on anything regarding new car warranties, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.