Consumer protection: ADAC denounces usury in spare parts

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ADAC denounces usury in spare parts

Consumer protection: ADAC denounces usury in spare parts-usury

Save money when repairs: Spare parts do not always have to come from the manufacturer, in the free trade they can also be of high quality – and cheaper

Source: picture-alliance / gms / ho

While a bumper for a Focus is available in the open market for 88 euros, it costs a whopping 302 euros at Ford. The design protection is to blame. Now the Chancellor should speak a word of power.

UAccident damage to the fender or bumper is usually unnecessarily expensive for car owners, according to ADAC. Such visible vehicle parts are up to 70 percent cheaper in the independent parts trade in some other countries than original parts from the manufacturer – only they are usually not available in German workshops, explains the automobile club with reference to the applicable design protection.

Car manufacturers can refer to this and prohibit the reproduction of visible vehicle parts by third parties. Many car manufacturers make use of design protection. A loosening of this regulation has been discussed for years.

In exemplary price research, the ADAC found out that, for example, the front bumper for a Ford Focus is available in free trade abroad for 88 euros – Ford charges 302 euros for it. The hood for a Golf VI costs 157 instead of 321 euros, the windshield for a Mazda 6 only 290 instead of 456 euros, reports the ADAC. When it comes to repairs, car owners should be able to choose where and by whom they have which parts installed, the Munich Club demands.

Protection against product piracy

The auto industry is sticking to design protection, among other things to protect itself against product piracy and to guarantee the quality of spare parts. This is the argument of the Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. Consumer advocates, on the other hand, are calling for a so-called repair clause: It is supposed to exclude visible spare parts required for a repair from the design protection, explains Roland Stuhr, consultant for commercial law at the Federal Association of Consumers.

So far, the dispute over the repair clause has remained fruitless. “In Germany the matter is on hold. There is a majority in the governing parties in this country for the repair clause in design protection. Ultimately, however, everyone is waiting for a final decision by the Chancellor, ”says Stuhr. "A uniform European regulation has been lying in the drawer in Brussels for years, ready for law." However, it has so far been prevented by the blocking minority from Germany, France, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Romania.

Other countries such as Great Britain, the Benelux countries, Spain and Poland have already introduced the repair clause on their own, according to Stuhr. According to the experts, consumers in Germany continue to pay a high price for visible spare parts thanks to design protection: "Even with conservative bills, the additional price or consumer damage is in the three-digit million range, probably even over half a billion euros."

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