WASHINGTON (May 25, 2006) — By the narrowest of margins, 14 to 13, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection has approved H.R. 2048, the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act.
The bill would establish criminal penalties against auto makers who don't offer the same repair and diagnostic information to independent auto repairers as they do to their franchised dealers.
Most of the automotive aftermarket—including the Tire Industry Association and the Specialty Equipment Market Association—favors the bill. But the Automotive Service Association, as well as the auto makers with which it inked a voluntary information agreement in 2002, insist the Web-based information system they have set up is working well.
There was no immediate word as to when the full House Energy and Commerce Committee would vote on the legislation.