The ABPA represents the interests of its membership and supports strategic positions that will enhance their business climate. This page lists the current federal and state issues that we feel affect the industry and the interests of our members, along with details about our position and actions taken. In addition, resources are provided for members to contact their elected officials and government agencies.
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- Speak Up! Contact Your Elected Officials and Government Agencies
- ABPA Legal Cases
- Federal Issues
- State Issues
- ABPA Consumer Education Efforts
Speak Up! Contact Your Elected Officials and Government Agencies
Federal Elected Officials
- Locate your U.S. senators’ contact information.
- Find your U.S. representative’s website and contact information.
- Find your Parliament of Canada members and contact information.
State Elected Officials
- Get in touch with your state governor.
- Find the names and current activities of your state legislators.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- File a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant website.
ABPA Legal Cases
Donate to the ABPA Legal Fund
The ABPA welcomes support from our members to assist in advocacy efforts. To make a donation to the ABPA Legal Fund, download the ABPA Legal Fund Pledge Form. If you opt for a regular contribution, you will receive a monthly invoice from the ABPA. All funds are directly deposited to the ABPA Legal Fund Account. Donations can also be made via PayPal by clicking the button below:
In June 2021, the Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation amends U.S. design patent law to reduce from 14 years to 2.5 years the time car manufacturers can enforce design patents on collision repair parts against alternative parts suppliers. The current patent term prevents aftermarket manufacturers from making or selling external collision repair parts, which drives up repair costs by limiting consumer choice, crowding out competition, and leading to higher insurance rates and fees. Under the SMART Act, it would not be an act of infringement for an alternative parts supplier to sell an aftermarket collision repair part once 2.5 years have elapsed from the date of patent. The Act would also allow alternative parts suppliers to research, develop, make, and test parts on a not-for-sale basis during the new patent period. The Act would not alter the 14-year period that car companies can enforce design patents against other car companies. It would impact only aftermarket repair parts.
Consumer Access to Repair (CAR) Coalition
The ABPA is a founding member of the Consumer Access to Repair (CAR) Coalition. The CAR Coalition is a group of independent automotive parts and repair companies, associations and insurers dedicated to preserving and protecting consumer choice, transparency, and affordability in the post collision repair market.
- National Survey: 79% of Car Owners Would Back Law Barring Automakers from Blocking Access to Vehicle Data (4/28/2021)
- CAR Coalition Launches New Video, Call to Action for Consumer Protection Legislation (2/16/2021)
- ABPA Announces that It Is a Founding Member of the CAR Coalition (7/1/2020)
- CAR Coalition website
- Follow on Twitter
- Request connection on LinkedIn
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Engagement
On July 16, 2019, the FTC hosted a workshop titled “Nixing the Fix” to examine ways in which manufacturers may limit third-party repairs. The ABPA submitted data to the FTC in response to their request for research focused on such limitations. Although we were not selected as panelists in the workshop, we did attend in person in Washington, DC. Further, we were able to secure a personal meeting with the FTC later in the summer where we submitted more data.
In May 2021, the FTC released a report titled “Nixing the Fix: An FTC Report to Congress on Repair Restrictions” which urges expanded consumer access to auto repair options. The report is a summary of findings from the 2019 “Nixing the Fix” project. The ABPA is mentioned on pages 22 and 40 of the report.
- Nixing the Fix: An FTC Report to Congress on Repair Restrictions (May 2021)
- ABPA Applauds FTC Report on Consumer Issues Within the Auto Repair Market (May 2021)
- ABPA Submits Data for Consideration in the FTC “Nixing the Fix” Workshop (Jul 2019)
- ABPA Follow-up to FTC “Nixing the Fix” Workshop (Aug 2019)
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)
The ABPA has received concerns from members regarding the significant increase in freight rates for importing containers from overseas. To address this matter, we have written to the Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), Daniel Maffei, clearly addressing our concerns and how it is affecting both ABPA members and consumers. We have also been communicating with other Associations who have members that have been affected with the intention of having a unified voice in working with the FMC. I encourage any ABPA member to reach out to us directly should they have any concerns on this matter.
Section 232 Tariffs
The ABPA is closely monitoring the effects of the 232 Tariffs on our members and speaking up against these tariffs whenever possible. This includes the July 2018 hearing in Washington, DC. Please contact the ABPA for additional information, including how to apply for exceptions.
Vehicle Data and Telematics Restrictions
As a member of the Auto Care Association, the ABPA is working with Auto Care leadership in educating and engaging ABPA members in vehicle data restrictions. The Auto Care Association is currently marketing the “Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice.” campaign. To find out more on this issue and how you as an ABPA member can act and make your voice heard, visit the Auto Care Association Telematics website.
- ABPA Opposes Maryland House Bill 1418 (2020)
- CollisionWeek: Maryland Collision Repair Parts Bill Withdrawn
ABPA Consumer Education Efforts
My Parts Choice
In April 2021, the ABPA launched MyPartsChoice.com, a consumer information portal dedicated to providing consumers with the resources needed to fully understand and manage the auto repair process, and the importance of choice when considering the parts used in repairs.
Please visit MyPartsChoice.com and share the link to help ensure consumer parts choice and right to repair options are not terminated or compromised by car companies.