WASHINGTON-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 need to repair original equipment.
The bill, called the Motor Vehicle Owner's Right to Repair Act, was introduced just before the August congressional recess by Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y. The text of the bill wasn't yet available. According to an Automotive Service Association press release, the legislation requires OE vehicle and parts makers 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.
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.
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.
The Tire Association of North America also supports the bill.
``With our members being so involved in automotive service, it's important that they have all the information necessary to make repairs on vehicles,'' said Becky MacDicken, TANA's director of government affairs. ``The automotive manufacturers should not be withholding information to anyone that's capable of doing automotive repair work.''