Re: EU Scrapping Block Exemption 2010
Posted by Rob Drinkwater on September 25, 2008, 9:41 pm, in reply to "EU Scrapping Block Exemption 2010"
Hi John, |
How are you?
Well, this is a bit strange, Block Exemption is not a new thing, they say in the article that BER has been here since 2002, but this is wrong.
Back in the 1980's the EU, or EEC as it was then introduced a whole load of measures to ensure that big manufacturers of products (everything, not just cars) could not withhold information about their products, this meant that independent repairers of, say TVs, could get the info they needed to repair them.
The vehicle manufacturers went to the EU & said that they couldn't give this info, as it would undermine their business & be potentially unsafe.
They argued successfully & the EC brought in a whole series of 'Block Exemptions' to the new laws. This meant the VMs didn't have to give out the required information.
In October 2002, many of these 'Block Exemptions' were removed, except where the information appertained to 'Safety or Security Systems', these could remain in the domain of the VM, but all other info had to be divulged.
The other upshot was that the VMs had to allow the cars to be serviced outside the dealer network, provided that certain criteria were met. This effectively stopped the VMs holding their customers to ransom during the warranty period.
To my mind, if 'Block Exemption' were to be scrapped completely, then these 'exemptions' to the other common anti anti-competition laws would mean that the VMs would have to give us more info not less.
If it was to mean what the article says, then that would mean that there would be more Block Exemptions introduced to to current laws.
It was interesting to note what the EU spokesman said, that the VMs would now find themselves under the same anti-competition laws as everyone else. 'A spokesman for the European Commission said that motorists who buy new cars after the changes would be protected by competition laws, which have already been used to ensure that manufacturers continue to provide information to independent garages.'
I think we need some clarification on this one.