Reprint from NFIB
For Immediate Release
CONTACT : Mike Hardiman
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 10, 2005 – A National Federation of Independent Business member and business owner testified before Congress today in support of legislation to maximize choices for consumers when deciding where to have their cars maintained and repaired.
Bob Everett of Bayville, New Jersey, owner of Bayville Auto Care and an NFIB member since 1986, testified before the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in support of HR 2048, the Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act. The “Right to Repair” bill would require auto manufacturers to make available all the information necessary to diagnose, service or repair a motor vehicle.
Everett stated in his testimony that Right to Repair “attempts to address an inequity in the car repair market by guaranteeing consumers the right to choose how and where they have their vehicles repaired. As more and more of a vehicle’s functions are controlled by onboard computers, independent repair facilities have found it more difficult to obtain the information necessary to repair their customer’s cars. When this information cannot be obtained from the manufacturers, NFIB members find themselves in the difficult position of having to tell their customers they are unable to make repairs and refer them to a dealer.”
On-board computers control braking, ignition, security, steering, emissions, climate control and other systems in newly manufactured automobiles, and this trend increases each year.
“Restoring competition to the marketplace is good for the consumer and good for small business. It is very important to note that H.R. 2048 does not require auto manufacturers to disclose any trade secrets or proprietary information, and NFIB members are not asking for that. We do, however, insist on level playing field. We are not looking for a competitive advantage over the manufacturers or dealers – we just want to be able to serve our customers and run our businesses,” Everett testified.
NFIB represents over 24,000 small, independent repair shops across the country, and they are strongly supportive of the legislation. H.R. 2048 is sponsored by the Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Rep. Joe Barton (Tex.), and has 66 cosponsors including members from both political parties.
The National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s largest small-business advocacy group. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1943, NFIB represents the consensus views of its 600,000 members in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals.