Legislation would ensure consumers continue to benefit from more affordable collision repair parts
The Quality Parts Coalition (QPC) is excited to announce that the bipartisan and bicameral “Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales Act” or the PARTS Act (H.R. 1057 and S. 560) now has 15 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives. They include:
Darrell Issa (R-Calif.); Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.); Henry “Hank” Johnson (D-Ga.); James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.); Dennis Ross (R-Fla); David Cicilline (D-R.I.); Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.); Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.); Scott Perry (R-Pa.); David Joyce (R-Ohio); Michael Capuano (D-Mass.); Albio Sires (D-N.J.); Gwen Moore (D-Wis.); Kristi Noem (R-S.D.); and David Young (R-Iowa)
The PARTS Act is an important solution to ensure consumers continue to reap benefits from a competitive collision repair parts marketplace that has existed for more than 60 years. Major car companies have secured nearly a thousand U.S. design patents over the past 10 years on individual cosmetic collision repair parts such as hoods, fenders and mirrors, and many of these companies have threatened lawsuits or other legal actions to curb competition by alternative suppliers. The PARTS Act would fix U.S. design patent law by reducing how long car companies can enforce their design patents against alternative suppliers from 14 years to 30 months. Preserving competition is especially important with consumers holding onto their cars for an average of 11 years.
“QPC applauds these members of Congress for signing onto the PARTS Act, signifying how important this bill is for American drivers across the country,” said Ed Salamy, executive director of the Quality Parts Coalition. “They are standing up for their constituents’ right to repair their cars how they see fit after an accident and ensure consumers have access to competitive parts that have been available for decades.”
The companion bills were reintroduced on February 25, 2015, in the U.S. Senate by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and in the U.S. House by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), all of whom are senior members of the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committees. In March, the Senate bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and the House bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.
The Quality Parts Coalition represents the interests of the independent parts industry, repairers, insurers, consumers and seniors. The goal of the Quality Parts Coalition is to develop and secure a permanent legislative change to U.S. design patent law to protect the consumer’s right to benefit from quality, lower-cost alternative replacement parts and to preserve competition.
For more information, visit www.KeepAutoPartsAffordable.org.