The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), MEMA Aftermarket, Auto Care Association and CAR (Consumer Access to Repair) Coalition have all expressed support for United States Reps. Neal Dunn, R-FL, Brendan Boyle, D-PA, Warren Davidson, R-OH, and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-WA, for reintroducing the ‘Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act’ (H.R. 906), the organizations announced.
The legislation will ensure the preservation of consumer choice, a fair marketplace, and the continued safe operation of the nation’s 292 million registered passenger and commercial motor vehicles, 70% of which are maintained by independent repair facilitis, the supporting organizations said.
The REPAIR Act aims to:
- Preserve consumer access to high quality and affordable vehicle repair by ensuring that vehicle owners and their repairers of choice have access to necessary repair and maintenance tools and data as vehicles continue to become more advanced.
- Ensure access to critical repair tools and information. All tools and equipment; wireless transmission of repair and diagnostic data; and access to on-board diagnostic and telematic systems needed to repair a vehicle must be made available to the independent repair industry.
- Ensure cybersecurity by allowing vehicle manufacturers to secure vehicle-generated data and requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop standards for how vehicle generated data necessary for repair can be accessed securely.
- Provide transparency for consumers by requiring vehicle owners be informed that they can choose where and how to get their vehicle repaired.
- Create a stakeholder advisory committee and providing them with the statutory authority to provide recommendations to the FTC on how to address emerging barriers to vehicle repair and maintenance.
- Provide ongoing enforcement by establishing a process for consumers and independent repair facilities to file complaints with the FTC regarding alleged violations of the requirements in the bill and a requirement that the FTC act within five months of a claim.
Dunn is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee which has responsibility for consumer protection matters (among several other topics) and is where the bill has been referred.
“When it comes to repairing their automobiles, consumers deserve options,” said Dunn. “The REPAIR Act would give owners, including the rural communities in my district, secure access to critical data so the service center of their choosing can replace parts and repair their vehicles. I am proud to support competition in the vehicle repair industry and this important legislation.”
“There are hundreds of neighborhood mechanics in Philadelphia”, said Boyle. “The last thing those small business owners need is to be boxed out of making a living. This legislation would not only protect the business relationships between automobile owners and their mechanics, but it also ensures consumers continue to have more options on where to go for repairs.”
The REPAIR Act is the only bill that addresses vehicle maintenance and repair restrictions, including heavy duty vehicles the U.S. economy depends on for freight transport, the organizations said.
Click here for more information on the REPAIR Act.