Western Australia’s economy continues to boom, including in the illegal car repair industry. This is not only taking money from the reputable licensed motor industry, but it’s putting the lives of road users at risk.
The amount of red tape and bureaucracy that a country like Australia has isn’t there just to stop people from making progress. It’s actually there to protect and prevent unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of others. In this case, it’s something that can prevent the organised crime gangs from ripping off more naïve clients and making a fortune out of them in addition to stop putting their lives into danger.
Let’s look at an example of what happens when you’re involved in an accident. It’s most likely that your insurer will arrange for your car to be towed to a licensed panel beater. An insurance assessor will visit to decide what the next step for your car should be.
If the damage is too bad, then it will be written off, otherwise it will be repaired by the panel beater or declared as a ‘repairable write-off’.
It seems that insurance companies are getting more and more eager to write off damaged cars rather than repair them. It’s less paperwork and then they can move on with less hassle. Unfortunately it’s this attitude that causes as many as 11,000 cars to have been written off in the last year.
These cars will be sent to either Manheims or Pickles vehicle auction houses. Anybody can then buy them and sell them on. Increasingly these cars are ending up in the hands of the operators of the illegal repair industry. Even cars that have been cut in half and welded back together are then being spray painted and sold on.
The average lay person cannot tell the difference between a welded car and one that is still in one piece and safer. If a welded car were to become involved in an accident, they could just disintegrate.
Fortunately WA motor industry repairers have been asked to contribute to a review of the Motor Vehicle Repairers Act which will put heavy penalties onto those who are acting dishonestly and putting lives at risk.
We need to warn our clients to look out for illegal repairers as they exist in our windscreen industry too. For your information, remember that Windscreen Replacement Perth is a fully licensed repairer and also a member of MTAWA. We hold public liability insurance and are police cleared.