WASHINGTON (Aug. 7, 2001)—Representatives of the automotive aftermarket are declaring their support for a bipartisan bill which would give independent auto repairers the right to have the service information they needed to repair original equipment.
The bill, called the Motor Vehicle Owner's Right to Repair Act, was introduced just before the August recess by Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y.
The text of the bill wasn't yet available from Mr. Thomas, the Web site listing congressional legislation, as of Aug. 6. According to an Automotive Service Association press release, however, the legislation requires original equipment vehicle and vehicle parts manufacturers to provide access to service information, both emissions and non-emissions, to independent repair shops.
“This bill provides independent repairers with the information they need to properly repair motor vehicles,” said Robert L. Redding, ASA Washington representative, in the Aug. 3 release.
Mr. Redding quoted a recent survey of 803 registered voters by the Southwest Policy Group, which showed that 88 percent of those polled wanted OE manufacturers to make service information publicly available, and 92 percent would support congressional legislation to assure that it was.
The bill was assigned to the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee within the House Energy and Commerce Committee. A committee staffer said Aug. 6 that a hearing on the bill had not yet been scheduled for the House's return in September.