GOVERNMENT: Fight Over "Right to Repair" Moves to the State Level

by | May 11, 2011 | Body Shop News

As federal “Right-to-Repair” legislation continues to languish, similar legislation is being introduced in more and more states. The Northwest Automotive Trades Association is backing a “Right to Repair” bill in Oregon; the association says a statewide phone poll of 500 voters in that state found that 74 percent support the bill’s concept that car companies should be required to make service and repair information available to independent shops.
“There is no greater frustration than having your car broken down and being unable to get it fixed in a timely manner without adding unnecessary expenses such as towing to another town because there is no dealership nearby,” Scott Asla of Baxter Auto Parts in Bend, Oregon, said at a hearing on the legislation in his state.
Similar legislation is under consideration in Massachusetts, New York, Illinois and Connecticut. And as it has in these other states, the Automotive Service Association is opposing the state “Right to Repair” bills, saying independent repairers already have access to OEM service and repair information via automaker websites and third-party information providers.
“I currently have had no issues in servicing or repairing vehicles for my clients,” Portland shop owner Kenneth Williams told Oregon lawmakers at the hearing. “I have found several resources that allow my shop to gather the needed information to repair and service our client’s vehicles.”