Support growing in Congress for “Right to Repair Act”

Updated Aug 5, 2011

Right To Repair LogoFollowing the bipartisan introduction of the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 1449) into the 112th Congress, support of the pending legislation has reached 28 congressmen to date, according to Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).

“We are very pleased and encouraged by the growing Congressional support for the Right to Repair Act,” says Schmatz. “The momentum for this important legislation demonstrates the commitment by many members of Congress to ensure that motorists in their districts can continue to obtain affordable and convenient repairs for their vehicles.”

The bipartisan-sponsored Right to Repair Act was introduced by Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Todd Russell Platts (R-PA). Joining them as co-sponsors of HR 1449 are Reps. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Bob Filner (D-CA), Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Michael Honda (D-CA), John Lewis (D-GA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Tom Marino (R-PA), James McGovern (D-MA), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Brad Miller (D-NC), James Moran (D-VA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Laura Richardson (D-CA), James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Heath Shuler (D-NC), Pete Stark (D-CA), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Niki Tsongas (D-MA) and Peter Welch (D-VT).

The Right to Repair Act levels the competitive playing field for motoring consumers and between new vehicle dealerships and independent repair shops by requiring that vehicle manufacturers provide full, fair access at a reasonable cost to all non-proprietary service information, tools, computer codes and safety-related bulletins needed to repair motor vehicles. The legislation provides vehicle manufacturers with strong protections for their trade secrets, only requiring them to make available the same non-proprietary diagnostic and repair information they provide their franchised dealers, according to AAIA.

“The Right to Repair Act is really about who owns the vehicle’s repair information, the (vehicle) owner or the (vehicle manufacturer). After spending thousands of dollars to purchase a vehicle, consumers should not be denied the right to have that vehicle repaired at the facility of their choice,” says Sandy Bass-Cors, executive director of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE).  “The Right to Repair Act does not cost tax payers money, but makes sure that motorists, and not the vehicle manufacturers, have the final say on where their car is taken for service — a basic American right of private ownership.”

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