Wednesday, 08 July 2020 16:24

CAR Coalition Urges Congress to Protect Consumers' Control Over Use of Vehicle-Generated Data

The Consumer Access to Repair (CAR) Coalition recently sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce, speaking out against a previous request on behalf of auto manufacturers opposing consumers' choice over the use of the data generated by telematics in their vehicles.

According to the CAR Coalition, limiting that choice is driving out repair competition, while the consumer cost of auto repair has risen dramatically.


The previous request, in a letter to the same committee sent by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation on behalf of auto manufacturers, called for a five-year federal preemption of any state action regarding access to telematics data.


The CAR Coaltion said such a move which would only strengthen the manufacturers' developing monopoly of the automotive collision repair chain.


"The CAR Coalition urges you to reject this proposal," the letter said. "The American public would be better served by an open dialogue on these issues---including congressional hearings---resulting in comprehensive legislation that preserves consumer choice and control over their data while ensuring cybersecurity, privacy and safety protections.


"The CAR Coalition rejects any suggestions that empowering consumers to control their data must come at the expense of road safety or that we would support measures that would jeopardize safety," the letter continued.


Coalition members support consumers' right to choose who fixes their car, or what they should be allowed to do with their vehicles' data, the letter said.


On the other hand, the letter from the Alliance for Automotive Innovation revealed the manufacturers' "contempt for consumer choice," the CAR Coalition said.


"Real consumer choice starts with transparency and allowing consumers to actually choose what happens to their data, not with (manufacturers) serving as gatekeepers with consumers forced to seek their permission," the coaltion's letter said.


The letter said Congress and the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, which controls vehicle safety regulation, should examine the issue closely through official hearings and stakeholder input.


Read the full letter here