Congress sets hearing on right to repair
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The CAR Coalition, a growing group of independent automotive parts and repair companies, associations and insurers committed to preserving consumer choice and affordable vehicle repair, continues to advocate for consumer choice in the post collision repair market as new polling suggests that efforts to provide increased access at the state and federal levels have broad support.
The issue is gaining traction in Congress as well. Later this week, the House Small Business Subcommittee on Underserved, Agricultural, and Rural Business Development is set to hold a hearing on the issue of right to repair, including in the auto industry.
According to recent research from Ducker Carlisle regarding the potential impact of right to repair legislation, 59 percent of those surveyed said they would vote to approve right to repair legislation. When those who indicated they would not vote on the matter were taken out of the equation, support jumped to 80 percent in favor. This follows a survey conducted by the CAR Coalition last year that found 78 percent of respondents in favor of right to repair legislation.
The CAR Coalition strongly supports two pieces of bipartisan federal legislation focused on the issue of consumer right to the repair in the auto industry, the REPAIR Act and the SMART Act. Both measures would expand consumer choice for automobile collision repair parts, decrease costs to both drivers and insurers, and enhance competition in the automobile repair parts market.
“The CAR Coalition believes it is critical to protect the rights of consumers in the post-collision auto repair market,” CAR Coalition Executive Director Justin Rzepka said. “We also believe that with costs on the rise, choice has never been more important. Our coalition has been leading on this issue for over two years because consumers need and expect options in the post collision repair market. We applaud the bipartisan sponsors of pro-consumer REPAIR and SMART Acts which tackle this critical issue.”
The REPAIR Act will: guarantee vehicle owners can get the parts, tools and information they need to choose aftermarket parts; require automakers to give consumers the critical information, software and tools they need to fix their vehicles; require automakers to give consumers access to their vehicle data needed for repair and maintenance; and require the NHTSA and the FTC to propose new rules to guarantee consumer access to vehicle data and provide cybersecurity.
The SMART Act will: reduce automaker patents on collision repair parts from 14 to 2.5 years; allow aftermarket parts makers to make and test parts during the newly defined patent period; allow aftermarket parts makers to sell a collision repair part after 2.5-year patent lifespan is over; and would not prevent automakers from enforcing patents against other automakers during 14-year patent lifespan.
To learn more about the work of the CAR Coalition, please visit www.carcoalition.com
About the CAR Coalition
The CAR Coalition is committed to preserving and protecting consumer choice and affordable vehicle repair by ensuring competition in the automotive collision parts industry. Members include: Allstate, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA), Automotive Manufacturers Equipment Compliance Agency, Inc. (AMECA), AutoZone, Carparts.com, Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA), Diamond Standard, Farmers, KSI Auto Parts, LKQ Corporation, and Tire Pros.