BETHESDA, Md. — As congressional support for the bipartisan-sponsored Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 1449) continues to climb, Massachusetts motorists have come together on the state level to help ensure that Right to Repair will appear on the 2012 ballot in their state, according to Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).
“We are very pleased with the growing support for Right to Repair on both the federal and state levels. The momentum building in Congress, coupled with the groundswell of support from voters in Massachusetts, demonstrates how important Right to Repair is to consumers, especially in a tough economy,” said Schmatz. “Right to Repair will help alleviate motorists’ financial burden by ensuring a competitive vehicle repair marketplace, allowing car owners to patronize the repair facility of their choice.”
Right to Repair levels the competitive playing field for motoring consumers and between new car dealerships and independent repair shops by requiring that car companies provide full, fair access at a reasonable cost to all non-proprietary service information, tools, fault codes and safety-related bulletins needed to repair motor vehicles. On the federal level, the Right to Repair Act was introduced intothe 112th Congress by Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Todd Russell Platts (R-PA), and currently has 40 co-sponsors. In Massachusetts, over 106,000 voter signatures were recently collected, well exceeding the required 68,911, to help move the pro-consumer Right to Repair bill toward the 2012 ballot.
“Both parties are talking about jobs and the economy. Right to Repair is a jobs and affordability bill during this economic downturn,” said Sandy Bass-Cors, executive director of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE). “The automotive aftermarket employs nearly five million people nationwide and, unless the Right to Repair Act passes, many of those jobs could be downsized. And, as more Americans choose to keep their vehicles longer for financial reasons, Right to Repair is even more of a fiscal necessity for them.”
About Right to Repair:
The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act protects motoring consumers from a growing and potentially hazardous vehicle repair monopoly by requiring that vehicle manufacturers provide full access at a reasonable cost to all non-proprietary service information, tools and safety-related bulletins needed to repair motor vehicles. The legislation provides car companies with strong protections for their trade secrets, only requiring them to make available the same diagnostic and repair information they provide their franchised dealers to the independent vehicle repair market. For more information, visit www.righttorepair.org and www.massrighttorepair.com.