Thursday, 28 June 2012 12:54

CAWA Says it was Instrumental in Stopping California Bill Aimed at Restricting Access to Certain Aftermarket Parts

The California Automotive Wholesalers Association released the following press release on June 28 from Sacramento, CA:

Today is a victory for consumers and the automotive aftermarket alike as a bill aimed at attempting to lock out the industry from important information relative to key information for replacement in certain automobiles has been defeated.  Failing to pass the Assembly Floor today by a vote of 29 to 25, with 41 votes needed to pass, SB 750 which is sponsored by BMW, sought to exempt automakers from providing electronic key code information to locksmiths, requiring motorists to contact the automaker to get a replacement key for their vehicle.

Under the leadership of CAWA, industry advocates and AAA successfully communicated concerns about motorists being inconvenienced and often stranded in dangerous situations because they were not able to obtain a replacement key from a locksmith due to automakers refusal to provide this information which helped convince legislators to vote against SB 750.  In addition, CAWA argued that this bill is anti-consumer and anti-competitive, which resonated with many legislators.   

“The key is much more than the instrument that enables one to start their vehicle,” stated Steve Sharp of WORLDPAC and CAWA Chair of the Board.  “The key is coded with security information that is tied into the vehicles computer system and will disable a number of auto components including in some cases the transmission, making the vehicle immobile as well as preventing a vehicle from being started after certain major repairs.”

CAWA successfully argued that the aftermarket industry has developed a system for key coding and vehicle programming that the majority of vehicle manufacturers follow to ensure both the security of the vehicle as well as access to the independent repair industry.  SB 750 would have interfered with the ability to have a vehicle serviced outside of the manufacturers’ network, and this in turn would create a potential hardship for the consumer as well as create anti-competitive forces for the independent automotive repair industry.  

“SB 750 is eligible and may be brought up again by the Assembly, so CAWA will continue to remain vigilant in our lobbying and grassroots efforts to defeat this anti-consumer, anti-competitive measure,” stated Rodney K. Pierini, CAWA President & CEO.   

Founded in 1955, CAWA is a nonprofit trade organization representing automotive jobbers, warehouse distributors, retailers, manufacturers and manufacturers’ representatives in California, Nevada and Arizona.  CAWA’s mission is to provide communications, education, legislative and regulatory advocacy and group purchasing of services for its members while promoting the automotive aftermarket industry.