OTTAWA — Brian Masse, a member of Parliament representing Windsor West, has introduced a Right-to-Repair bill (C-231) in the House of Commons of Canada that could require vehicle manufacturers to provide independent vehicle repair shops with access to customers' vehicle diagnostic and repair information.
"Vehicle components, like computers, have evolved and are quickly becoming more digitalized with manufacturers working harder to protect their repair programs. Moving towards electric and away from fossil fuels will impact the way that repairs are made," Masse said.
"This bill looks forward, ensuring that Canadians will have continued access and the ability to choose where they can get their vehicle repaired."
The Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA) came out in support of the legislation that was introduced Feb. 4.
"I want to commend MP Brian Masse for introducing his Private Member's Bill which will establish much-needed rights for vehicle owners across Canada," AIA President Jean-François Champagne said.
"Currently, vehicle manufacturers own the data transmitted by vehicles, limiting options for where consumers can have their vehicle repaired. This important legislation will place that control back in the hands of consumers, allowing them to choose the service or repair shop that is best for them," he continued.
"Given previous support from all parties to establish a right to repair, we are hopeful this bill will receive broad support and encourage its swift passage."
There is a voluntary agreement in place between manufacturers and independent vehicle repair shops, Masse said, but Canadians could see manufacturers change how they share data under a Canada mandate that by 2035 all new light-duty vehicles sold have zero emissions.
"Like we have seen with cell phones and electronics devices, some manufacturers have refused to share their repair 'tools' with technicians that are not their own, making it difficult to repair the devices and which ultimately end up in landfills," Masse said. "That's what we are trying to avoid. That, and making sure Canadians can go to the repair shop of their choice instead of, in some cases, traveling hundreds of kilometers in rural communities by having to get to the manufacturer's authorized dealer."
The summary of the bill states: "This enactment amends the Competition Act to authorize the Competition Tribunal, if certain criteria are met, to make an order requiring a vehicle manufacturer to provide an independent vehicle repair provider with access to diagnostic and repair information as well as to service parts on the same terms and in the same manner as the manufacturer makes the information and parts available to repair providers who are specifically authorized by the manufacturer to service their vehicles."
Masse introduced a similar bill in 2009, but before it made its way through the Senate, the aftermarket dealers came to a voluntary agreement.
Masse's bill was introduced the same week as U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) introduced a federal Right-to-Repair bill that would allow independent repair shops access to customers' vehicle data.