Motorists could soon find it more expensive or virtually impossible to repair their cars as the long-reaching impact of coronavirus continues to be felt, industry experts claim.
Australian automotive advisor Chris Daglis said the shutdown of vehicle manufacturing plants in China has already cut off supply, while the diminishing value of the Australian dollar will see an increase in costs.
He added the insurance industry will suffer a hit as 50 per cent of the 1.5 million claims made annually in Australia require new parts to get vehicles back on the road.
"I am already speaking with repairers and insurers who are experiencing delays and those that are looking ahead are certainly expecting that this will get worse before it gets better," he said.
"You cannot complete a repair unless you have every part required for that repair, so just one part not being available out of hundreds that can be used in a repair, will affect the total claims cycle."
Mr Daglis said a strike from GM workers in the US six months ago was still resulting in a delay for some new parts, which has increased fears over the current shutdown in China.
He said increasing the availability and use of quality 'Recycled Original Equipment' (ROE) parts could be a possible solution to the looming crisis.
"The recycled parts market, insurers, mechanics and collision repairers can certainly capitalise on this situation and there are huge environmental and cost benefits to the consumer when repairs are undertaken in accordance with strict insurer repair guidelines and Australian Consumer Law," he said.
Mr Daglis stressed the need for caution to prevent the unwitting sale and installation of a spare part that has been recalled due to faulty manufacture.
"It is critical for mechanics, collision repairers, insurers and any parts seller, to have a recall checking capability so that they can alert their customer to a safety problem on their vehicle," he said.
"Sometimes these recalls are critical; they are death traps.
"A vehicle may be clear of recalls today but have a part/s recalled at some time in the future. The recycler can then notify his/her customer that they need to have their recall completed by the vehicle manufacturer."
RACV Senior Vehicle Engineer Nicholas Platt echoed the sentiments.
"There's no denying the unfolding coronavirus situation has resulted in a downturn in manufacturing across China where many automotive components are made," Mr Platt told nine.com.au.
"While this may have a long-term impact on the automotive repair industry in Australia, the short-term impact will likely be minimal with most local suppliers and repairers expected to have ample stocks of spare parts to repair vehicles.
"RACV urges motorists to ensure their car is regularly serviced and well maintained. Motorists who have concerns about parts supplies and potential impacts to servicing should contact their nearest preferred dealer or mechanic."
A shortage of Chinese parts is also affecting Japanese car manufactures, with Nissan forced to halt production in several domestic assembly factories, including Tochigi and Fukuoka.
Honda claims the delay of its new car delivery because problems procuring Chinese made components.
Mazda, which imports exterior components from China to assemble some of its small passenger cars and SUVs, has been forced to procure alternative parts from Mexico at a higher cost.
Jaguar Land Rover has also warned it could run out of car parts at its British factories at the end of next week as the coronavirus halts supplies from China, while Fiat Chrysler has suspended operations in Europe.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-vehicle-repairs-to-become-more-expensive-if-not-impossible-experts-warn/d81474c4-565e-445d-b6b2-6799b378b5c9