Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act Reintroduced in Congress - HR
The Motor Vehicle
Owners’ Right to repair Act, Legislation that allows consumers to
continue to choose where they have their vehicles repaired was
reintroduced into the11th Congress on April 22, 2009.
“HR 2057, known
as the Right to Repair Act goes to the heart of American property
rights and ownership. When motorists purchase their vehicles, they
should have the right to own their vehicles electronic, diagnostic
and repair information so they can make affordable and convenient
repair choices, whether that choice is an independent repair shop or
a car dealership,” said Ray Pohlman, President of Coalition for Auto
Repair Equality (CARE). “As vehicles become more computerized, soon
customers will be very limited on repair options. In some cases,
they will be forced to take the vehicles back to the new car
dealerships even when their vehicles are out- of- warranty”.
Vehicles that are
1994 and newer (and some earlier models) are equipped with computers
that control the repair and service information on most of the
vehicles’ systems, including, but not limited to: airbags, brakes,
emissions (check engine light), tire pressure, oil changes,
electronics, ignition systems and keys and transmissions. In many
cases, the only way for motorists to have these systems repaired is
to return to the new car dealership.
Representative Edolphus Towns (D-NY), the lead Right to Repair
Sponsor, stated, “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.
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 and automotive independent repair shop or a car
dealership to meet their auto needs.”
Towns, as original sponsors are Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and George
Miller (D-CA). Rep.Towns’ is the chairman of the Government
Management, Organization and Procurement Committee and serves on the
Energy and Commerce Committee. Representative Eshoo is a member is
a member of the Energy Commerce Committee and Rep. Miller is
Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee.
Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) conducted a
‘first-of-its-kind’ study, which illustrated the enormous
cost-benefit to consumers when their vehicles are repaired in the
independent repair industry. The study clearly showed that repairs
conducted at new car dealerships cost consumers on average 34 % more
than at the independent repair shops, thus resulting in $11.7
Billion in excess costs annually. Los Angeles consumers pay, as
much as, 46.8% more at new car dealerships, for repairs. The Right
to Repair Act will help all of America’s motoring consumers.
Arron Lowe, Vice
President, Government Affairs for AAIA, stated, “with dealerships
closing at unprecedented rates, the ability for consumers to obtain
convenient and affordable repairs from their local independent
vehicle repair shops is more important than ever. Right to Repair
ensures that independent shops have access to the most up-to-date
information, tools and software so that they continue to maintain
and repair their customers’ late model vehicles.”
concluded, “Five million people in the United States work in the
automotive aftermarket (independent repair industry) in over 495,000
locations nationwide, including “mom and pop” shops. The
aftermarket is a large segment of the nation’s economy and for more
then 100 years has helped consumers find affordable and efficient
ways to repair their vehicles.
A broad coalition
of consumer oriented and small business groups support passage of
The Right to Repair Act, among them: American Automobile Association
(AAA), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB),
RetireSafe (represents 4000,00 seniors nationwide), Tire Industry
Association (TIA), National Grange and 60s Plus Seniors.
The right to
Repair Act is in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Information on the legislation can be found on:
www.righttorepair.org. Go to the website and put in your own
zip code for the contact names of your Elected Officials.
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