The Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee voted in favor of the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (H.R. 2048) in an open mark-up session on Capitol Hill, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). The bill has been tirelessly supported by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ).
Although the bill was amended during the meeting, the goal of the legislation remained intact: requiring the Federal Trade Commission to enforce requirements that independent repair shops have access to the same information and tools that are available to new car dealers, according to Aaron Lowe, vice president of government affairs, AAIA.
“The close 14-13 favorable vote came despite an intense lobbying effort launched by the vehicle manufacturers, new car dealers and the Automotive Service Association (ASA),” Lowe said.
“It was close but we managed to get it passed,” AASP/NJ’s Bob Everett says. “AASP/NJ made an all-effort in recent days to get our members to contact their Congressman urging them to support the bill. It looks like we got just enough support.”
Two amendments to the bill were accepted by the subcommittee. One addressed the need for a study by the General Accounting Office to measure the scope of service information availability problems being encountered by independent repair shops. The other amendment further clarified that the intent of the legislation is to ensure that the intellectual property of the vehicle manufacturers is thoroughly protected.
“This is a step in the right direction however, we still have a lot of work to do,” Everett adds. “We intend to take this as far as necessary to ensure the rights of the consumer and repairers.”