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EU seeks feedback on repairs offers by carmakers

From Automotive News| March 26,2007

The European Commission, trying to inject more competition into Europe's car repairs market, asked for feedback today on proposals by four big carmakers that could boost independent mechanics.

An antitrust probe by the European Union's executive found problems with the way DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, General Motors and Fiat provided technical information to independent repair shops.

"The Commission is concerned that the market position of independent repairers in the EU is being eroded, leaving them less able to exert effective competitive pressure on the carmakers' own repair networks," it said in a statement.

"One of the reasons seems to be that independent repairers are still not getting all the technical information that they need to carry out repair and maintenance jobs on today's increasingly complex cars," the Commission said. The Commission has yet to decide whether to accept the commitments proposed by the carmakers.

If it does, and the companies subsequently break their undertakings, Brussels could fine them up 10 percent of total worldwide turnover.

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