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Tuesday, 01 December 2020 23:22

Collision Parts Might Creep Into Federal ‘Right to Repair’ Bill as OEMs Fight MA Law

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During an online panel discussion after Massachusetts voters approved a “Right to Repair” ballot initiative in November, Aaron Lowe of the Auto Care Association said a push for similar legislation at the federal level was the next step. During an online panel discussion after Massachusetts voters approved a “Right to Repair” ballot initiative in November, Aaron Lowe of the Auto Care Association said a push for similar legislation at the federal level was the next step.

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...against the American people, who want the right to control their vehicle mechanical data and to share it with their independent repair shops,” the association said in a statement. “Over the last several years, the Auto Care Association has joined with cybersecurity experts to develop international standards that could be readily implemented and will permit the cyber-secure sharing of data.”

 

In an online panel discussion during the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo the day after the Nov. 3 election, the Auto Care Association and other backers of the legislation said their next step was to push for similar legislation on a national level.

 

“We all know the big prize is getting this done on a national basis,” the association’s Aaron Lowe said.

 

That’s something the coalition was previously unsuccessful at making happen despite a nearly decade-long effort, which led instead to the first Massachusetts “Right to Repair” ballot measure, passed by voters in 2012. That bill in turn led the automakers to sign a national memorandum of understanding with the aftermarket proponents to agree to comply with the Massachusetts law nationwide.

 

“Right to Repair” proponents now say they intend to take another run at a national bill in 2021.

 

But the collision repair industry may want to watch whether any such bill expands beyond data access into other areas of interest by coalition members, such as LKQ Corporation, which had a representative on the post-election online panel discussion, and the Consumer Access to Repair (CAR) Coalition.

 

That group, formed in 2020, is funded by insurers and the non-OEM parts industry, and has a stated goal of “preserving and protecting consumer choice, transparency and affordability in the post-collision repair market.”

 

Lowe on the post-election call indicated that crash parts could be part of the federal legislation. The bill, he said, should address “not just data access but a lot of the other competitive issues that are going on in our industry…because of work that’s being done by the manufacturers [such as] requirements for OEM collision parts in different states.


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