The Automotive Service Association (ASA) announced that Scott Benavidez, AMAM, chairman of the ASA board of directors, recently testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on courts, intellectual property and the internet.
During the hearing, titled “Is There a Right to Repair?”, Benavidez explained how the agreement ASA reached with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation (AAI) and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists ensures independent repair facilities will continue to enjoy access to the information needed to diagnose and repair issues with their customers’ vehicles. He remarked in his opening statement:
“ASA has been a steadfast advocate for right-to-repair principles — the right of car owners and independent repair shops to access vehicle service information needed to diagnose and repair vehicles — for decades. We take this unequivocal stance because our members are on the front lines of the vehicle data access issue and have been very clear: we want to have access to the data necessary to repair our customers’ vehicles. That’s why, last week, ASA proudly announced it had reached a landmark agreement with automakers that ensures independent repair shops can diagnose and repair their customers’ vehicles without hindrance from telematics nor any other innovation.”
ASA appreciates the understanding expressed by members of the subcommittee, including those from Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (D-PA), who affirmed, “essential for you, for your piece of mind, your ability to do your job well, is the repair data.”
Benavidez also shared ASA’s concerns that the SMART Act — which would allow aftermarket manufacturers to produce and sell parts of similar appearance 30 months after the OEM part enters the market and do so without violating patent law — lacks quality and safety standards for aftermarket replacement parts. He cautioned:
“We can and should have a competitive marketplace that doesn’t compromise quality or safety. [Some insurers] [d]eciding to only cover the cheapest option without understanding implications for quality leaves collision shops and their customers in a tough position … [M]ore imported and other crash parts in the marketplace with limited quality standards gives insurance companies even more power to mandate that cheaper parts that may or may not meet quality expectations be installed, while leaving car owners and repairers to suffer the consequences.”
ASA appreciates Chairman Issa (R-CA) for providing ASA the opportunity to share the perspective of independent automotive repair shops before the subcommittee and for the thoughtful comments from the subcommittee members.
To watch a video of the testimony, click here.
For more information on ASA, visit asashop.org.