Auto aftermarket finalizes national ‘Right to Repair’ agreement

Management Truck Parts and Service Staff January 23, 2014

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance), the Association of Global Automakers (Global), the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), and the Coalition for Automotive Repair Equality (CARE) announced this week a collective acceptance of a national agreement to ensure consumer choice in post-warranty auto repair. According to the sides, the decision ends the longstanding “Right to Repair” debate within the industry.

The national agreement is based on a recent law finalized in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Chapter 165 of the Acts of 2013).The signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) extends the essential provisions for all light-duty vehicles negotiated in the Massachusetts law nationwide; it impacts all companies and organizations that are currently members of the signatory associations.

This national agreement ensures the Alliance, Global, AAIA, and CARE will stand down in their fight on “Right to Repair” and work collectively to actively oppose individual state legislation while respective groups work to implement this MOU.  In the meantime, the parties agree that further state legislation is not needed and could serve to weaken the effectiveness and clarity of the MOU.

“Automakers manufacture high quality, innovative vehicles that provide strong value, safety, and convenience to our customers,” says Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.  “Accessible, efficient, accurate, and competitively-priced repair and service are paramount, and franchised dealers and the aftermarket play unique and important roles in the repair process.”

“We are excited that consumers and independent repair facilities around the Nation will have the same access to the information, tools and software needed to service late model computer controlled vehicles as is required under the Massachusetts right to repair statute,” says Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the AAIA.  “We believe that the resulting competitive repair market is a win-win for car companies, the independent repair industry and most importantly consumers.”

“Much like with fuel efficiency economy and greenhouse gases, a single national standard regarding vehicle repair protocols is imperative,” says Mike Stanton, president and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers.  “A patchwork of fifty differing state bills, each with its own interpretations and compliance parameters doesn’t make sense.  This agreement provides the uniform clarity our industry needs and a nationwide platform to move on.”

“Since the first Right to Repair Act was introduced in Congress in 2001, CARE and the automotive aftermarket have worked to ensure our customers continue to have the right to choose where they buy their parts and have their vehicles serviced,” says Ray Pohlman, president of CARE.  “This agreement will ensure vehicle owners will have competitive and quality choices in their repairs while strengthening the auto repair industry nationwide. This agreement illustrates what can happen when organizations focus on putting customers and consumers first.”