Tire dealers and other automotive service shops should give their full support to newly introduced legislation that would assure them access to the service information needed to repair today's vehicles.
Independent auto repairers suspect some vehicle makers have held back such information to give their affiliated auto dealers a competitive edge in the marketplace. This practice, if true, is unacceptable.
Tire dealers, many of whom rely on automotive service for an ever-increasing portion of their revenue, need complete and timely information to service today's vehicles.
Details of the new bipartisan bill, introduced by Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., are not yet available. But, according to the Automotive Service Association, The Motor Vehicle Owner's Right to Repair Act, H.R. 2735 would require auto makers and original equipment parts suppliers to provide repair shops with access to service information for both emissions and non-emissions vehicle systems.
The ability to tap such information has become a No. 1 priority for many auto repair shops. A recent ASA survey found that repair shops are turning away 10 percent of the vehicles they encounter due to a lack of technical data necessary to service the vehicle.
``It has reached the point that some repair facilities are posting signs in their reception areas saying they cannot repair certain makes of vehicles,'' said Bill Haas, ASA mechanical division manager, in testimony before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The ability to obtain such information is crucial to the survival of independent auto repair shops, which otherwise would be cut out of servicing certain vehicles. Moreover it is just as important to those customers who prefer taking their vehicles to someplace other than new car dealerships for service.
Knowledge is power when it comes to automotive service. Tire dealers and other independent repair shops should support this legislation guaranteeing their right to know.