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The Senate Standing Committee on Consumer Protection and the Assembly Standing Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection held a joint hearing June 9 to hear testimony on the proposed New York State Automotive Right to Repair Act (SB 7302 and AB 6634).
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) opposes the New York State Right to Repair Act, while the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) supports the legislation and claims that ASA members provided “misinformation” at the hearing. New York unions, automobile manufacturers and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles all submitted comments in opposition to the Right to Repair Act, ASA noted.
Donny Seyfer, ASA board member, Seyfer Automotive, Wheat Ridge, Colo., answered questions from the committee regarding service information requests and the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF). ASA says it has made several presentations to members and staff of the New York legislature in recent years regarding service information availability.
“I don’t have problems of not having information because I only work on brands that I know I can repair,” Seyfer told the committee.
CARE Executive Director Sandy Bass-Cors countered that without support from Right to Repair legislation, independent repairers’ options could be severely limited.
“Unfortunately, that leaves independent repairers at the continued mercy of the car companies which may decide to eliminate certain brands or merge, leaving the independent repairers with even fewer vehicles to repair,” Bass-Cors said. “Mr. Seyfer’s statement sounds as if there are brands that he can’t repair and therefore has ‘settled’ for repairing only a few models while telling the New York legislators that repair information is not a problem.”
Matthew Godlewski, vice president of government affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) noted that Right to Repair hasn’t been successful in the past in other states or at the federal level.
“Congress and the states have repeatedly said ‘No’ to the Right to Repair Act,” he said.
CARE countered in a press release that no state has rejected the legislation outright, and it has been reintroduced in Congress.
The New York legislature has not scheduled any further action on the Right to Repair Act for this year.
ASA says it’s working with New York state policymakers to establish service information training sessions in the state later this year.
NASTF is a not-for-profit task force established to facilitate the identification and correction of gaps in the availability and accessibility of automotive service information, service training, diagnostic tools and equipment, and communications for the benefit of automotive service professionals. NASTF is a voluntary, cooperative effort among the automotive service industry, the equipment and tool industry and automotive manufacturers.