Right to Repair!

Now! you can get your vehicle repaired from an independent Workshop without getting threatened to get your warranty void.

At the time of purchasing a new car, the manufacturer seems generous when they offer you a warranty for a considerable amount of time on your new car but how often do they threaten you to void the warranty for petty stuff, such as an LED headlight upgrade or on a new aftermarket Infotainment system?

I have heard a story about how a Dealer/service Centre threatened to void the warranty of a new car because the owner had got the wheel alignment done from an independent shop.

Some manufacturer doesn’t allow their parts to be shared with an independent mechanic which stops Them from getting genuine spare directly from OEM.

This scenario has made owners who own models from these said manufacturers difficult to keep their old cars running by scheduling repairs and their general service from an independent shop that they trust and that offers more flexible pricing. But Manufacturers do not share information about the vehicles and not allowing independent shops to purchase parts directly from the OEM.

There comes a certain point in the Vehicle’s life cycle where it does not make sense to pay prodigious service charges, taxed by manufacturers and their authorized dealers. On the other hand, independent shops can get it done for far cheaper prices and sometimes you end up trusting them with your Vehicle – more than the authorized service centers. Not all manufacturers hold off sharing information but some of them do and it has become an issue, especially with the modern hybrid systems and Gizmos that come attached to the set of wheels and an engine.

 In some II Tier cities where the presence of a manufacturer-authorized service center is not immediately available and owners have to travel a distance to get their car serviced or repaired in case of some mishap. The owner cannot get the car repaired even if it’s a minute repair, because doing such could get his warranty void, this is especially true with modern cars.

Modern cars in the past six to eight years have been in a phase of evolution. Before that cars still were bare-bones metal, in which even an AC was a feature to boast about – an exaggeration- but true to some extent, even then car manufacturers were generous enough to offer warranties on new vehicles, but they weren’t as comprehensive as today and if truth be said many owners wouldn’t have needed it anyway since cars were reliable and fairly simple to work on and the warranties were not that consequential if voided.

But modern cars that are equipped with Dual-clutch Transmissions, Hybrid technology complicated wiring diagrams, and whatnot that has made an independent mechanic out of his depth – not all but the majority of independent mechanics in the country are still playing catch up to the internet storm and many are still getting familiar with the decade-old fuel injection technologies. Because of the manufacturer’s reluctance to share information.

All this could come to an end very soon and the days of customers being held at the mercy of a Car manufacturer for even the simplest of repairs could be a thing an object further than they appear in the rear-view mirror – as the Department of Consumer Affairs has now launched the ‘Right to Repair’ initiative and portal, which protects your vehicle’s warranty even if you have done repairs made at an independent workshop. It will also act as a resource hub for self-repair manuals as it requires the manufacturer to share proper repair information with the independent Workshops- diagnostic tools and OEM spares as well.

The portal is already live and two of India’s prominent two-wheeler brands have already come on board and the Department of Consumer Affairs is actively working to get as many manufacturers as possible onboard.

‘Right to Repair’ is certainly a step in the right direction, but what remains to be seen is how many Manufacturers get on board seeing this as an opportunity to expand their presence in the market or an obstacle in their way to making profits off their service Centers and parts department.

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