WASHINGTON (Sept. 24, 2004) — It was a game of “Whom Do You Trust?” in a House Commerce Subcommittee hearing as supporters and opponents of the Motor Vehicle Right to Repair Act gave diametrically opposing views of the need for the bill and what it would accomplish.
The bill's detractors insisted the voluntary agreement be—
tween auto makers and the Automotive Service Association (ASA) make the legislation unnecessary. “This is a system that can work and is working,” said Bill Haas, ASA vice president. But several repair shop owners testified of problems with response times and inaccessible information on auto makers' repair Web sites.
“'Voluntary' is a word that worries me,” said Lynne Cardwell, a Sacramento, Calif., repair shop owner speaking for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association. “There is no force of law behind this.”
The Tire Industry Association (TIA), though not testifying at the hearing, issued a press release reiterating its support for the bill. “The Right to Repair Act will ensure that our dealers can get the information they need from the original equipment manufacturers,” said Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president.
David Parde, president of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality, said CARE and its supporters will consider all options to try and get the Right to Repair Act made law before Congress recesses for the upcoming election.