Houston, TX – The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) applauds United States Reps. Neal Dunn (R-FL), Brendan Boyle (D-PA-02), Warren Davidson (R-OH-08), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA-03) for reintroducing the ‘Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act’ (H.R. 906).
The legislation will ensure the preservation of consumer choice, a competitive marketplace, and the continued safe operation of the nation’s 292 million registered passenger and commercial motor vehicles, 70% of which are maintained by independent repair facilities. As vehicle technology becomes even more complex, the car companies create new barriers that limit consumer choice which increase the cost to repair and maintain vehicles. The REPAIR Act will reduce these barriers, putting consumers’ interests first.
The REPAIR Act will accomplish this by:
- Preserving consumer access to high quality and affordable vehicle repair by ensuring that vehicle owners and their repairers of choice have access to necessary repair and maintenance tools and data as vehicles continue to become more advanced.
- Ensuring access to critical repair tools and information. All tools and equipment; wireless transmission of repair and diagnostic data; and access to on-board diagnostic and telematic systems needed to repair a vehicle must be made available to the independent repair industry.
- Ensuring cybersecurity by allowing vehicle manufacturers to secure vehicle-generated data and requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop standards for how vehicle generated data necessary for repair can be accessed securely.
- Providing transparency for consumers by requiring vehicle owners be informed that they can choose where and how to get their vehicle repaired.
- Creating a stakeholder advisory committee and providing them with the statutory authority to provide recommendations to the FTC on how to address emerging barriers to vehicle repair and maintenance.
- Providing ongoing enforcement by establishing a process for consumers and independent repair facilities to file complaints with the FTC regarding alleged violations of the requirements in the bill and a requirement that the FTC act within five months of a claim.
“The introduction of the REPAIR Act is exciting for both our members and most importantly, consumers,” said Ed Salamy, Executive Director of the ABPA. “The car companies’ practice of stifling aftermarket competition is being exposed. The REPAIR Act will allow vehicle owners to control the repair process for their vehicles and will help alleviate the rising costs of auto repairs which continues to outpace the already elevated rate of inflation.”
“When it comes to repairing their automobiles, consumers deserve options,” said Representative Dunn. “The REPAIR Act would give owners, including the rural communities in my district, secure access to critical data so the service center of their choosing can replace parts and repair their vehicles. I am proud to support competition in the vehicle repair industry and this important legislation.”
“There are hundreds of neighborhood mechanics in Philadelphia,” said Representative Boyle. “The last thing those small business owners need is to be boxed out of making a living. This legislation would not only protect the business relationships between automobile owners and their mechanics, but it also ensures consumers continue to have more options on where to go for repairs.”
“By prohibiting vehicle owners from accessing and sharing data they generate, manufacturers stop consumers from accessing third-party repair shops,” said Representative Davidson. “American vehicle owners have a right to control their data, and a right to access third-party repair shops, tools and parts.”
“Working families in rural America can’t afford to take a day off to drive their car to the dealership for a costly repair. The REPAIR Act is a bipartisan solution to improve vehicle data access laws to give working families more choices for repair when their car breaks down,” said Representative Gluesenkamp Perez. “I appreciate Representatives Dunn, Boyle, and Davidson for their leadership on this issue, and look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion to improve repair laws for families who work for a living.”
The Right to Repair movement continues to gain momentum and The REPAIR Act is being introduced following several recent important events regarding consumer choice in repair. In November 2020, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly voiced their support for Ballot Question 1 (also known as Right to Repair) with 75% of the vote, which preserves their right as vehicle owners to have access to and control of their vehicle’s mechanical data necessary for service and repair at the shops of their choice. In May 2021, the FTC released their Nixing the Fix report which highlighted barriers that vehicle manufacturers have instituted to squash a consumer’s right to repair. The FTC strongly supports expanding consumer repair options and found “scant evidence” for repair restrictions imposed by original equipment manufacturers. In July 2021, President Biden issued the “Promoting Competition in the American Economy” executive order which encouraged the FTC to address anti-competitive repair restrictions. Finally, in December 2022, the Digital Fair Repair Act was signed into law by NY Governor Kathy Hochul and in January 2023, John Deere signed an MOU with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The ABPA is a proud founding member of the CAR Coalition which is one of the main driving forces behind both the REPAIR and SMART Acts. To tell your Member of Congress to support the REPAIR and SMART Acts, please visit the CAR Coalition website to fill out the contact form and make your voice heard.
About the ABPA
With more than 135 members, the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) occupies over 400 distinctive locations including collision parts distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and parts recycling plants. ABPA’s members are responsible for distributing more than 80 percent of the independently produced aftermarket crash replacement parts sold to the collision repair trade. For more information about the ABPA, visit www.autobpa.com.