WASHINGTON, D.C. – The CAR Coalition, a growing group of independent automotive parts, management and repair companies, associations, and insurers committed to preserving consumer choice and affordable vehicle repair, today praised the bipartisan members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce for including the REPAIR Act (H.R. 906) in today’s hearing on enhancing product safety and transparency for Americans. The bipartisan REPAIR Act, sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Member Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL), would provide consumers with expanded repair options by ensuring that vehicle owners can access repair data and tools needed to repair their vehicles. The REPAIR Act, alongside the SMART Act (H.R. 1707), expands vital choices for consumers in the post collision repair market.
“Momentum continues to grow for the bipartisan REPAIR Act,” CAR Coalition Executive Director Justin Rzepka said. “Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle understand that when it comes to repairing their vehicles, consumers deserve and expect choices. That’s why the REPAIR Act is so critical. Access to vehicle data is essential to both vehicle owners and the independent repair shops who serve them. We thank the members of the subcommittee for bringing attention to the REPAIR Act today. Swift action on the REPAIR and SMART Acts is needed to protect access to affordable car repairs and promote freedom of choice.”
Congressman Dunn emphasized during the hearing that when consumers buy a vehicle, they should own that vehicle, including the right to have it repaired: “When I buy a product, a house, a motorcycle, an airplane, it belongs to me, when consumers buy vehicles, the options to repair or service those vehicles [are] being increasingly restricted.…It’s unacceptable for the vehicle manufacturers to exclude independent repair shops from accessing that data, especially if they’re the owner.” He added, “It’s the right of owners to repair their equipment, their vehicles and to choose where to repair.”
During the hearing, Subcommittee Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said she had heard from many people about the issue of the right to repair and that the owners and repairers should have access to the vehicle data needed to make repairs. She added, “We may want to make sure that if the car is fixable and [the repairer] has the qualifications to fix it, you should be able to do that.” She also said during opening testimony that she is “very much supportive” of the REPAIR Act.
In written testimony, Xpertech Auto Repair (Englewood, Florida) Owner and Auto Care Association member Kathleen Callahan said, “The REPAIR Act will guarantee that our shops can access the data we need to safely diagnose and repair vehicles today and in the future in a manner consistent with the wishes of the vehicle owner. The REPAIR Act allows the free market to work by prohibiting competition-busting barriers vehicle manufacturers use to protect their competitive advantage. If the vehicle owner prefers the service shop at their dealership, that is their right, but should they choose to have repairs done at my shop, they should also have that right guaranteed. It’s your car. It should be your data.”
According to a recent YouGov Survey of 1,000 vehicle owners conducted June 29 – July 5, 2023, a sizable majority of Americans support a federal vehicle right-to-repair law that would prevent automakers from restricting vehicle owners’ repair options. Americans believe they should be able to decide where and by whom they have their vehicle repaired as well as who has access to their vehicle’s data. They also showed a strong preference for independent repair shops over dealerships. Key results included:
- 94% want to choose WHERE their vehicle is repaired
- 93% want to choose WHO repairs their vehicle
- 79% are willing to share their vehicle data with independent repair shops
- 75% support legislation preventing auto manufacturers from restricting consumer access to vehicle data
- 74% believe vehicle owners should have access to their vehicle data
- 63% would take their vehicle to an independent repair shop
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, American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA), Automotive Manufacturers Equipment Compliance Agency, Inc. (AMECA), AutoZone, Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA), CarParts.com, Diamond Standard, Farmers Insurance, KSI Auto Parts, LKQ Corporation, PartsTrader, and Tire Pros. Learn more at carcoalition.com.