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Pedders Statement 25th May 2010


On Tuesday 6th April and Wednesday 5th May, Channel 9’s “A Current Affair Program” aired programs with negative allegations made relating to three franchised Pedders stores. For the past month, as a result of these programs, Pedders Management has conducted a comprehensive and extensive investigation of these outlets with particular attention to the allegations made within these programs. The substance of these investigations included Head and State Office analysis as well as an onsite investigation made by two senior and highly-experienced management staff to assess the operations of these outlets, again especially focusing on the allegations made within these two programs.

Pedders Suspension, as a leading automotive company that has also been a leading Australian Automotive Franchisor for over 30 years, conduct several annual onsite operational checks per outlet to ensure the operational standards set out within the Pedders franchise agreement (and backed up by the operations manual) are adhered to. This has ensured that the Pedders brand can continue to grow and prosper by providing a system to enable our core customer promise of “straight advice, specialists you understand and NO BULL” is met at store level. Pedders Suspension prides itself on its honest and reputable reputation that has been built over 60 years of being Australia’s leading steering and suspension specialist. The three outlets identified within the two programs were subjected to the most extensive and comprehensive operational and standards investigation in the history of Pedders 30 years as a leading automotive franchise company. The result of this extensive investigation is that, in the expert opinion of Pedders Management, that these three stores have met the expectations and obligations expected of them by Pedders in all of the major allegations. Some operational issues as a result of these investigations will continue to be monitored as per Pedders normal standards checklist process. Following are some further points to be added;

• Due to incorrect/false contact details provided to Pedders on the “customer” vehicles featured within the first program Pedders were unable to contact these “customers” to ask to recheck these vehicles to assess the accuracy of the inspection procedure as part of these stores 28-point safety checks on these vehicles.

• Random Sampling of invoicing was a key component to the investigation and resulted in showing a history of these stores meeting the expectation of Pedders Recommended Retail pricing for components and labour.

• All current store staff were interviewed separately and provided with a confidential opportunity to discuss any issues within the stores.

• The Pedders 28-point steering and suspension safety check has provided approximately one million Australian motorists with a comprehensive understanding of the condition of their vehicle’s critical steering and suspension system over a 20+year period. This check has always been and will remain totally OBLIGATION FREE. It is the opinion of Pedders that this check is far more comprehensive than a normal “roadworthy” report relating to steering and suspension as well as Pedders having a far more conservative approach to its steering and inspection procedures based on experience as a specialist within the steering and suspension field. It seems that in some cases customers are not understanding the features, value and difference of this check and that Pedders stores need to communicate more effectively with customers to ensure the most effective outcome for the customer when discussing the results of the 28-point check. Although this issue has been covered extensively within Pedders training and communication to the Pedders store and dealer network over the past 20+ years since the introduction of the 28 point steering and suspension safety check, Pedders Management will act accordingly by providing prompt refresher training and communication relating to critical communication issues resulting from its 28-point checks.

• These investigations are not complete – further additional monitoring of these stores will take place to reassure our customers that the highest standards of customer satisfaction are being met. Also, Pedders has a comprehensive system of meetings and communication to ensure that all operations of all stores develop and continue to meet the expectations of the general public. At Pedders we take pride in providing motorists with a best practice strategy we engrain as “NO BULL”. We look forward to assisting Australian motorists for many years to come by providing the highest quality advice, service and products to ensure that their vehicles perform to their potential in terms of safety and handling performance. We encourage any customer of Pedders to contact us with their positive or negative experiences with Pedders by emailing us at . As a company that is committed to providing high levels of customer satisfaction Pedders uses this valuable information to further develop our great 60 year, family and Australian owned company.