BOWIE, Md. — Tire Industry Association (TIA) representatives and member dealers testified March 8 before the Maryland House Economic Matters Committee in support of House Bill 1193, which covers right-to-repair legislation (R2R) in Maryland
The bill, titled "Consumer Protection - Motor Vehicles - Right to Repair," addresses the R2R issue on the state level by requiring manufacturers that sell motor vehicles with telematics systems to install an open-data platform in specific vehicles.
TIA worked with Republican Maryland Delegate Kevin Hornberger and his staff to introduce the bill.
Six TIA tire dealer members in Maryland testified in support of the bill during the hearing. Overall, 35 of those testifying supported the legislation and five opposed, according to TIA.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association, the Auto Care Association, LKQ Corp. and the Chesapeake Automotive Business Association are among other organizations that also testified in support.
"Right to repair remains a top priority for TIA members in Maryland, and H.B. 1193 would provide for much needed clarity and direction in vehicle repair," Roy Littlefield IV, TIA's vice president of government affairs, said.
"Without legislation, Maryland vehicle owners will have fewer repair options, face longer wait times and pay higher prices when they repair their vehicle."
TIA said it is rallying industry support and organizing local members to encourage passage of right-to-repair legislation in states and on the federal level.
TIA said it has supported efforts in Maine on a right-to-repair ballot initiative and in Massachusetts, where a legal battle has delayed implementation of R2R legislation.
At the federal level, TIA said it supports the REPAIR Act (H.R. 906), bipartisan legislation reintroduced earlier this year by Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., and co-sponsored by Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Colo., and Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich.
Newer cars and trucks contain advanced technology that monitors or controls virtually every function of the vehicle including brakes, steering, air bags, fuel delivery, ignition, lubrication, theft prevention, emission controls and soon, tire pressure.
Car and truck owners, as well as the facilities that repair these vehicles need full access to the information, parts and tools necessary to accurately diagnose, repair or re-program these systems, TIA said.
"Our members who repair vehicles need access to the vehicle's mechanical data, and the Maryland consumer should have the right to decide where that data goes," Littlefield said.