Right to Repair Act passes New Jersey Assembly

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The New Jersey Assembly on Monday, Oct. 27, passed the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (A-803) by a vote of 49 in favor, 22 against and 8 abstaining. Introduced by Assemblyman Reid Gusciora (D-Mercer), the Right to Repair Act ensures that New Jersey independent repair shops will have the same access to service information, tools and software that vehicle manufacturers make available to their new car dealers.

Passage by the Assembly came only days after the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee approved the act by a 3-2 vote. During the hearing, independent repair shops from across the state testified about the problems they experience in obtaining access to information and tools needed to repair their customers’ vehicles. Shop owners explained that they often are forced to tell their customers that the dealer is the only place to go for certain repairs, or in some cases they will take the vehicle back to the dealer themselves rather than tell the customer they cannot complete the repair.

Aaron Lowe, vice president of government affairs for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, testified that the service and parts business is becoming a growing percentage of car companies’ profits, and therefore it is of great concern that independent repair shops are becoming more dependent on the car companies and their dealers for tools and information. “The commercial interests at stake in the vehicle repair market demand that Right to Repair legislation be enacted to ensure a level playing field where consumers continue to have a choice of where they have their vehicle serviced,” Lowe testified.

Other groups testifying in favor of the bill included the Alliance of Aftermarket Service Providers of New Jersey, New Jersey Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association, Citizen’s Action, National Federal of Independent Business and AAA. The bill now moves to the New Jersey Senate for consideration.

For more information, go to www.righttorepairnj.org.