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Tuesday, 01 February 2022 08:29

It’s Time to Protect Your Right to Repair America’s Vehicles

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Sponsored Editorial by the CAR Coalition

 

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Car ownership has long been a symbol of independence and personal freedom in American society.

Thanks to the work of the independent auto care industry, which employs 4.7 million people and includes independent manufacturers, distributors, repair shops and parts stores, car owners can feel confident making repairs and investing in the longevity of their car.

 

However, due to embargoed technology solutions and anti-competitive behaviors within the marketplace, local auto repair shops and some dealerships are feeling the pressure of high costs and unnecessary burdens as a result of car repair restrictions.

 

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are increasingly using a range of tactics, like patent thickets, controlling telematics data, position statements, repair procedures and trademarks, to force repair shops and dealerships to use OEM parts and to steer more business to their preferred repair networks. These practices not only severely limit consumer choice, but cause economic ripple effects for businesses nationwide.

 

Repair restrictions on cars and other items have been skyrocketing in recent years due to OEMs increasingly misusing design patents to crowd out competitors in the marketplace. On top of that, OEMs are tightening their grip on vehicle data. These restrictions make it harder for businesses to offer alternative parts during the car repair process.

 

While some states, like Massachusetts and Illinois, have made promising strides in the growing automotive right to repair movement recently, there’s still work to be done.

 

One national solution is the bipartisan Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act (H.R. 3664), which would allow for...


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