Right to Repair Act Reintroduced in Congress - BodyShop Business

Right to Repair Act Reintroduced in Congress

The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act, which would require
car companies to make the same service information and tools
capabilities available to independent repair shops that they provide
their to their franchised dealer networks, was reintroduced into
Congress on April 22.

“By guaranteeing access to vehicle repair information, we can empower
consumers and give them the opportunity to choose where, how and by
whom to have their vehicles repaired,” said bill sponsor Rep. Edolphus
Towns, D-New York. “We reintroduced the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to
Repair Act so Brooklynites can have the option of self-servicing their
vehicle, or the freedom to use an automotive independent repair shop or
a car dealership to meet their auto needs.”

A study by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) found
that repairs conducted at new car dealerships cost consumers an average
of 34 percent more than at the independent repair shops, which the AAIA
says results in $11.7 billion in excess costs annually.
“Right to Repair ensures that independent shops have access to the most
up-to-date information, tools and software so that they can continue to
maintain and repair their customers’ late model vehicles,” said Aaron
Lowe, AAIA vice president of government affairs.

Several trade groups, including the Automotive Service Association
(ASA), say that the legislation is unnecessary and has lost support
over the years.

“ASA is proud of the progress made for independent repairers relative
to service, training and tool information,” said ASA President Ron
Pyle. “The 2002 ASA-Automaker agreement has provided our industry with
a model for information that will ensure repairers have access to the
necessary repair information for the foreseeable future. This model is
indicative of the industry’s ability to resolve many important issues
in the marketplace without government intervention when the automotive
industry works together.”

The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM) noted
that in 2004, Right to Repair Legislation had 117 co-sponsors. Last
year, the legislation had 54 co-sponsors, and that number dwindled to
two this year.

“All information necessary to service and repair motor vehicles is
currently available to independent repairers – all they need are a
credit card and an internet connection to access this information on
Web sites maintained by every manufacturer selling vehicles in America
today,” AIAM President and CEO Mike Stanton said. “This legislation
does not remedy problems associated with independent technicians who
may simply be untrained or unsure where to go to access the repair
information for vehicles that pass through their shop doors.”

For more information on Right to Repair legislation, visit www.righttorepair.org or www.takingthehill.com.

To read about last year’s version of the bill, click HERE.

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