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Automotive Body Parts Association

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The following federal issues affect the industry and the interests of ABPA members. See below for more details about our position and actions taken.

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REPAIR Act

In February 2023, U.S. Reps. Neal Dunn (R-FL), Brendan Boyle (D-PA-02), Warren Davidson (R-OH-08), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA-03) reintroduced 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.

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SMART Act

On March 23, 2023, the “Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation” (SMART) Act joined the “Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair” (REPAIR) Act as the first pair of right-to-repair bills introduced in the 118th Congress.

A bipartisan group of federal legislators — including Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA-48), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-18), Dave Joyce (R-OH-14), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), Laurel Lee (R-FL-15), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA-3) — reintroduced the SMART Act (H.R. 1707). The SMART Act will limit automakers’ design patent abuse by reducing the time that they can enforce design patents against alternative parts manufacturers on collision repair parts — including common parts like side mirrors, quarter panels, and bumpers — from 15 years to 2.5 years.

As the first pair of federal right to repair bills introduced in 2023, the SMART Act and the REPAIR Act, which safeguards vehicle data access, are important steps forward to ensure all Americans are free to choose how and where to fix the things they own.

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International Trade Commission (ITC)

In February 2023, the ABPA submitted two submissions (case numbers Inv. No. 337-TA-1292 and No. 337-TA-1291) in regards to the limited exclusion orders against ABPA members TYC Genera, LKQ Corporation and Keystone Automotive Industries as assigned on January 24, 2023.

In May 2023, the ITC requested a second wave of submissions, which the ABPA provided.

In March 2024, the ITC announced that the decisions for both investigations in the LKQ/Genera cases have been reversed finding no violations.

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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.

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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.

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LKQ Corp & Keystone Automotive Industries vs. GM Global Technology Operations

In April 2023, the ABPA submitted an amicus brief in support of a petition for rehearing en banc, which was granted by the Federal Circuit. The ABPA’s position is that the test for design patent obviousness should be changed to eliminate the strict “primary reference” requirement in appropriate circumstances, which should make it easier to block certain designs from receiving a design patent or to invalidate a design patent when the prior art supports it. The Federal Circuit has requested additional briefing to address various issues. The amicus brief and petition for rehearing documents are available via the links below. The briefs submitted by the parties and the other amici are available at the Federal Circuit website.

Update: On May 21, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of LKQ Corporation. Details can be found here.

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Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021

The ABPA and a coalition of more than 152 other companies and trade associations representing U.S. importers, exporters, transportation providers and other supply chain stakeholders submitted a letter of support to Congress endorsing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021.

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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.

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ABPA Partners

The ABPA is proud to be a partner and support the advocacy efforts of:

My Parts Choice
CAR Coalition

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