Automakers and Repair Shops Commit to Voluntary Agreement on Service and Repair Information.

May 15, 2009 PRESS RELEASE

Canada’s automobile manufacturers and distributors today confirmed their pledge to create a voluntary agreement with independent vehicle repair shops to provide access to emissions and non-emissions-related service information, diagnostic tools, and training information and training needed to service Canadian’s vehicles.

“The vehicle manufacturers and distributors have overcome some major hurdles to get to a position where we can address legitimate service, repair, training and tooling information needs of the automotive aftermarket through a voluntary solution” said Mark Nantais, CVMA’s President. “When Bill C-273 was first introduced, our industry was challenged by the Minister of Industry to develop a voluntary framework to address the concerns being raised by the aftermarket automotive industry. We have responded aggressively and positively towards creating this voluntary framework that will ensure that all automotive manufacturers are providing this information in the near future. In fact, many companies are already making this information available today.”

Dale Finch, NATA’s Executive Vice President stated that “a voluntary agreement is much better suited to the complex realities and constant change in the automotive business. The reality is that the legislation, while well intended, will take several years to operationalize, and then be fairly limited and static because of its prescriptive approach. The voluntary agreement we are crafting will be fully implemented in less than a year to the benefit of all in the automotive aftermarket. The voluntary solution will be flexible enough to quickly address industry and any consumer issues moving forward that may not be contemplated under the legislation. Unfortunately legislation does not work in this manner, nor does it recognize how much of this information is already available in Canada today.”

“We look forward to meeting with the Parliamentary Committee to discuss our voluntary agreement as a much more effective solution to the issues that created the need for this Bill in the first place,” said David Adams, President of the AIAMC. “A myth has been perpetrated that voluntary agreements require legislative backstops or they are ineffective. The truth is that our industry in Canada has a history of pragmatism in meeting regulatory objectives through voluntary initiatives with a variety of partners, including the federal government. In this current situation legislation is not required to force the release of the information from the many manufacturers that are making it available today, and this voluntary MOU will mean that legislation will not be necessary to ensure that all manufacturers offer this information in the near future.”

For further information please contact:

David Adams
Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada

Mark Nantais
Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association

Dale Finch
Executive Vice President
National Automotive Trade Association