Right to Repair Act Reintroduced in Congress - BodyShop Business
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Right to Repair Act Reintroduced in Congress

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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.

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“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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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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