Insurance for defective parts for members

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The value of collaboration between RMI associations was once again highlighted this month with the culmination of two years of discussions between the MIWA NEC and the TEPA NEC. The requirement was to bring about a change to the industry which would see the Component Parts Industry providing the workshops with a recovery for labour costs incurred during the replacement of a defective part.

At a cost of R200 per month, iTOO, the insurance policy for MIWA members, provides cover for a set number of hours’ work, as outlined by Haynes Pro. MIWA will therefore reimburse workshops a flat rate of R220 per hour of labour costs.

To access this cover, MIWA members are required to submit the part deemed defective to the RMI (TEPA) Parts member, who will then investigate the part. If the defect is confirmed, the RMI (TEPA) Parts member will hand over a report about the faulty component to iTOO and TEPA, which will then pay over the reimbursement for labour costs to the RMI (TEPA) Parts member. This amount will, finally, be paid over to the workshop.

A part may be considered defective if it has failed within the warranty period. However, if the failure is due to poor workmanship or fitment errors; or if the wrong part was provided; if the part was fitted by unqualified staff; if the part was abused during, before or after fitment (or by the driver); if warranty provisions have not been complied with or if fitting instructions have not been adhered to, the part will not be considered defective.

Please check with your TEPA parts supplier to make sure they offer this cover.

Click here to download the presentation for more details.

Competition Commission guidelines

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We have received a number of queries about the Competition Commission guidelines, indicating that a great deal of uncertainty remains. With this in mind, we have compiled a document that we believe will help you gain a better understanding of the guidelines and the role each member has to play in ensuring adherence. Please note, though, that this document reflects MIWA’s understanding of the guidelines, which may differ from the interpretation of other stakeholders. Nonetheless, with the deadline of 1 July fast approaching, we feel this provides a solid starting point. We will, no doubt, receive further clarity on outstanding queries as soon as the guidelines are rolled out and implementation begins. 

Please click here to access our comprehensive Q&A.

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Competition Commission Guidelines for Competition in the Automotive Industry – Aftermarket Q&A document.

Wipcorp report back

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Our virtual meet and greet with Wipcorp, held earlier this month, was a fantastic opportunity to get to know each other and find out answers to key questions. We had some really relevant discussions which are so important to ensure everyone is on the same page and speaks the same language. Our special thanks go to the Wipcorp team for giving us this time and answering all our questions. 

Here are some of the outcomes of our discussions:

Can Wipcorp’s audits be tailored to accommodate specific situations at certain workshops?

The answer here is yes – in the case of specialised workshops, such as those dealing with auto electrical, transmission, and drivetrain issues. Audits completed at these workshops are verified against the standard grading criteria, and special circumstances and factors relating to their specialty focus are taken into account. In all other cases, the audit is based on criteria relevant to general workshops.

Why are audits important – after all, there are successful businesses run out of people’s backyards?

Although there is a thriving informal trade that doesn’t adhere to any industry laws or regulations, the reality is that the people running these businesses are damaging the industry’s reputation. Their customers have no recourse should things go wrong with their car’s repairs. In contrast, a customer consulting a MIWA accredited workshop that has undergone an audit may have complete peace of mind, knowing their service provider complies with the highest motor industry standards and is qualified to provide professional, quality service, using the latest technology, experience, and knowledge. The issue of informal traders is being addressed by the RMI through a process called Project Compliance, which aims to ensure that all businesses within the sector comply with statutory and other laws so that we are able to grow and uplift the formal trade and uplift the industry as a whole.

What if I need assistance with grading criteria? 

Wipcorp commits to sending an Initial Outcome report to members once an audit has been completed. This report is also sent to MIWA’s regional representative. You will have 14 days to provide any outstanding information and are welcome to contact either Wipcorp or the relevant MIWA representative for any advice or support you may need during this time. Once you have provided this outstanding information, Wipcorp will submit a Final Outcome report, which confirms your star grading. You will also receive a MIWA grading certificate.

Right to Repair – Tier 1 Sponsor: Spotlight on Indy Oil

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Mechanics and workshops alike depend on the comprehensive range of quality products from G.U.D. Holdings to service their customers’ vehicles. Not only can they confidently place their trust in brands such as GUD Filters, Indy Oil, Safeline Brake Pads, Fram Filters, Holts, and Prestone, more and more mechanics are also discovering that they can achieve peak engine performance and protection by servicing a vehicle with a combination of GUD Filters and Indy Oil.  

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Indy Oil’s lubricant range meets industry quality standards.

Indy Oil markets a wide range of synthetic and mineral automotive lubricants. Quality is the cornerstone of all G.U.D. Holdings brands including Indy Oil and the Syntro SAE 5W40 and Endurance SAE 5W30 motor oils which have been awarded the VW stamp of approval.  Blended locally and available nationwide, Indy Oil is a world-class lubricant that can comfortably stand up against the big brand names in the industry. The Indy Oil blending plant is a state-of-the-art facility accredited by the American Systems Registrar and ISO 9001 certified, where premium virgin base oils and additive packages are carefully blended to ensure they meet and exceed global API, ACEA & JASO specifications. Indy Oil’s lubricant range meets American Petroleum Institute (API), European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), and Japanese Automotive Standards Organization (JASO) quality standards.  

They then undergo meticulous testing by trained chemists at a dedicated analytical centre to ensure every litre meets customer expectations. 

Indy Oil is supported by a dedicated sales team across South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. They provide valuable technical knowledge on the products and their applications. In addition, they conduct Indy Oil product training conveniently at the customer’s premises.  A dedicated helpdesk is also just a phone call away for those requiring additional technical knowledge on products and their applications, call 031 910 3267 to speak to our technical support team. 

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Indy Oil and GUD Filters are an unbeatable duo when used together to service vehicles.

GUD Filters and Indy Oil lubricants are designed to work optimally together when carrying out an oil service. Use the Filter Finder on GUD’s website to find out the best filter and oil combo for your or your customer’s car.  Visit www.gud.co.za.  For best results, be sure to try this unbeatable duo at your next service. 

Indy Oil has been a Right to Repair member since 2018. We believe consumers should have the freedom to fit quality aftermarket brands to their vehicles at the workshop of their choice. We encourage all consumers to support local manufacture and South African businesses.

Windshield cracks: to replace or repair?

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Motorists are often reluctant to replace a windscreen with a slight crack because of the expense – but, because windscreens contribute to the structural safety of the car, a full replacement is sometimes the only option. The question is, how to tell?

Generally speaking, if the crack is small enough to be covered by a R2 coin, it can simply be repaired – in other words, it should be no more than 2.5cm in diameter and 7cm long. That said, factors like the size, type, depth, and location of the crack impact whether it is, indeed, repairable. Location is particularly important: if the chip intrudes or interrupts the driver’s line of sight, it may prove very distracting. And, if it is on the border of the windscreen, where the glass meets metal, it may compromise passenger safety and will weaken the windscreen structure. 

Drivers should also be aware that if the technician can’t see the whole crack, they won’t be able to fix it. They also need to know that even if the crack or chip is repaired, there may be some damage remaining in the form of discolouration, mistiness, or unevenness – which, again, may distract the driver if it is in their line of sight. 

The best course of action is to consult a technician, who will be able to provide proper advice.

Time to roll out the vaccine

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Phase 1 of the programme focused on healthcare workers, of whom 339 000 have already been vaccinated and this programme will soon be scaled up. Phase 2 has started with the over 60’s. 

The aim is to target the elderly and get them vaccinated by winter as the data shows that they have the highest risk of hospitalisation and mortality.  

Last week the RMI had an important meeting with Business for South Africa (B4SA), who have been working alongside Government since January 2021 to support the build-up and roll-out of the Government-led national COVID-19 vaccine programme. They are currently reaching out to business to support and amplify communication on the vaccination rollout and to encourage registrations on Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS). The National Department of Health has set a target to have five million over 60-year-olds registered on the EVDS as soon as possible.

We believe that the RMI and all its associations can play an important role in helping communicate this message by:

  • Leveraging our membership, and other databases to distribute messages encouraging registrations
  • Using our communication channels to continuously amplify the key registration and vaccination messages shared by the National Department of Health and B4SA

As responsible members please assist staff, customers, and community members directly to register on the EVDS. 

A very useful and highly professional toolkit has been created – the Vaccine toolkit | Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). You will see this contains a number of design elements that can be used in your workspaces and in your correspondence to members.

Please can we ask that you review the toolkit and see which elements you would be able to implement?

Our country cannot afford another hard lockdown and with fears of third-wave escalating we need, as an industry and as citizens, to do everything in our power to support and help the Government effort.

Autumn health check

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Remember this time last year, when we were popping vitamins in a desperate attempt to ward off Covid? Many of us have become far more relaxed (or perhaps ‘fatigued’ might be a more accurate description) – but as the days and nights get colder, our immunity becomes compromised. Never mind the dreaded coronavirus – most of us would be happy simply to stave off a seasonal cold or flu. Here’s how to do it:

  • Eat seasonal, local foods. This makes sense when you think about it: nature has provided foods containing everything you will need to get through a specific season, so why eat anything else? More than that, eating local means that you enjoy fresher produce, which ensures nutrients are at their peak. Autumn’s foods include garlic and ginger (natural immune boosters), sweet potato, butternut, mushrooms, onions, and broccoli.
  • Get a flu shot. This is especially important if you know that you are immune-compromised.
  • Keep hydrated. Flushing out with water is part of keeping your immune system at its peak.
  • Head outside. Again, this is something you’ve heard this many times – but spending time in the sun not only helps your body manufacture Vitamin D (critical for immunity) but also boosts your mood to help fight the seasonal sadness many people experience as daylight hours grow shorter.
  • Give yourself something to look forward to. The urge to hibernate is natural, but making social arrangements helps keep connections (vital for mental wellbeing) and is good for your mood, too.

Repair, replace, or refund: Your guide to the ‘three Rs’

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The Consumer Protection Act enshrines consumers’ right to fair value, good quality, and safety – and so, when a product or service fails to deliver on these criteria, they may seek recourse. How do you, as a workshop owner, know when it is sufficient to repair goods that have proved defective within six months of purchase, or when these must be replaced or even refunded?

If your customer wishes to replace the goods, the ‘switch’ must take place on a like for like basis – in other words, you need to provide a substitute that is the same in terms of price and quality as the original product at the time of purchase.

If a refund is requested, you have the right to factor in any usage and restoration costs that may apply.

Of course, as the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. Workshop owners are therefore reminded to put all agreements with customers in writing and to abide by the correct operating procedures and provide the appropriate documentation at all times, making sure they are signed by both parties. This ensures that you are protected, should there be a claim against your workmanship, goods, or service.

From the Director’s Desk, May 2021

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May has been another busy month and we have been in discussions with both RMI and many of our members on the critical implementation of the Competition Commission Guidelines. 

Our lead article this month deals with this very important issue. It has taken a bit longer than we would have liked to forward you further information, but as you know there has been discussion around the interpretation of a number of the points and clauses, and these needed to be checked with RMI legal counsel. They are now being tested with the Competition Commission. As we move closer to July and then thereafter, I want to stress that the responsibility lies on the shoulders of ISP’s (Independent Aftermarket Workshops), and specifically our MIWA members, to ensure the Guidelines are implemented correctly and we are ready.

I see our MIWA members playing a very key role in assisting, supporting, and educating consumers and I appeal to all members to accept this challenge. It makes me think of the quote by Kandi Steiner: “Don’t miss out on what could be the best chapter in your life because you’re too busy rereading the last one.”

In addition to the lead, I hope you will enjoy reading more on the Defective Parts Insurance Cover now available. There are also some good pics from our Wipcorp Meet and Greet this month which was highly successful. Wipcorp is the external service provider responsible for doing our grading project. As a team and as an association it is key we are all on the same page and that each and every audit is consistent to ensure sustained excellence.

I hope you enjoy the reads.

Pieter Niemand, MIWA National Director