Rural Communities Stranded Without Right to Repair Act

Bill ensures full access to repair information for owners of cars, trucks, motorcycles and other motor vehicles

BETHESDA, MD – October 13, 2009 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Without the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 2057), vehicle owners in rural communities could be left stranded without full access to the repair information for the vehicles they purchased, according to Ray Pohlman, president of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE).

“Consumers are entitled to the right to choose how their vehicles are maintained and repaired, whether in their driveway or at a trusted repair facility,” said Pohlman.  “Cars, trucks, motorcycles and all other vehicles are becoming increasingly complex with the addition of more computer technology.  Without Right to Repair, millions of vehicle owners will be forced back to the dealership for service because they have been denied access to non-proprietary information and computer codes from the manufacturers.  Rural communities where there is no dealership in the area are particularly vulnerable and could be forced to tow their vehicles longer distances, adding significant cost to the repair.”

With a record number of dealerships already closed, including many in rural areas, and GM recently announcing it will end Saturn production and close all Saturn dealerships, many motorists are turning to independent repair shops for service.

“In order for local repair shops to be able to serve those in their community, they must have full access to the codes and information necessary to diagnose and repair all types of vehicles,” said Kathleen Schmatz, CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).  “Without a nearby dealership, there is a risk that motorists in rural areas may forgo important vehicle repairs, jeopardizing their safety and the safety of others. The Right to Repair Act ensures the continued availability of convenient vehicle repair in rural communities throughout the country.”

The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 2057) currently has the support of 42 members of the House of Representatives and was introduced by Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and George Miller (D-CA) to offer protections for vehicle owners by allowing them to have full access to the non-proprietary repair information and codes for the vehicles which they purchased, new or used, so that they can choose where, how and by whom their vehicles are repaired.  More information can be found by visiting www.righttorepair.org.

About Right to Repair:
The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act, which was introduced by Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and George Miller (D-CA), would require car companies to make the same service information and tools capabilities available to independent repair shops that they provide to their franchised dealer networks. The legislation further provides car companies with strong protections for their trade secrets unless that information is provided to the franchised new car dealers.  The bill clarifies the responsibilities of the Federal Trade Commission in enforcing the bill’s requirements.  For more information about the Right to Repair Act, visit www.righttorepair.org.

SOURCE  Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association

Rich White of AAIA, +1-301-654-6664, rich.white@aftermarket.org; or
Sandy Bass-Cors of CARE, +1-800-229-5380 ext.  2, sandy@careauto.org

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