More members of Congress back ‘Right to Repair’ bill

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Following the recent introduction of the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 2057) into the 111th Congress, the bill has gained more co-sponsors, according to Kathleen Schmatz, president and chief executive officer of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association.

Reps. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.), Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Howard Berman (D-Calif.), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Phil Hare (D-Ill.), Michael Honda (D-Calif.), Steven Rothman (D-N.J.), Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) have joined the bill’s original co-sponsors, Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Georga Miller (D-Calif.).

“The inclusion of these members of Congress from both sides of the aisle signals growing support in Congress for the Right to Repair Act,” Schmatz says. “We applaud their commitment to ensuring that motorists in their districts retain the choice of where to have their vehicles serviced and repaired.”

Because vehicles increasingly are becoming more sophisticated with virtually every system either monitored or controlled by computers, servicing these vehicle systems to keep them in safe working condition requires ready access to complete and accurate information from the car companies. The Right to Repair Act was introduced in Congress to ensure that car owners and their chosen repair shops have the same access to safety alerts and repair information as the franchised new car dealer network.

“Right to Repair has become more important than ever as motorists seek new neighborhood repair shops because a dealership has closed in their area,” Schmatz says. “This important piece of legislation ensures that local auto repair remains available to car owners throughout the country.”

The bill would require car companies to make the same service information and tools capabilities available to independent repair shops that they provide their 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 also clarifies the responsibilities of the Federal Trade Commission in enforcing the bill’s requirements.

For more information about the Right to Repair Act, go to www.righttorepair.org.