ASA Again Misleads its Membership & Media on Right to Repair Act, This Time in Florida/Bill to Return Next Session, States CARE

May 15, 2007, 01:00 ET from Coalition for Auto Repair Equality

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Once again, the
 Automotive Service Association (ASA) has issued misleading statements
 regarding The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act in Congress and in
 the states. ASA's latest misinformation is regarding Florida's Right to
 Repair Act, SB 2890," stated David Parde, president, Coalition for Auto
 Repair Equality (CARE).
     ASA issued a May 9, 2007, press release 'spinning' the latest
 developments on SB 2890, making it read as if the bill died in the
 Committee due to lack of interest. "Nothing could be further from the
 truth. The Florida State Legislature only meets 60 days a year and the
 Right to Repair Act was introduced late in the session. Florida went Sine
 Die (adjourned for the year) and that's the only reason the bill didn't
 make through the Committee," Parde continued.
     "In addition to writing the press release to make it sound as if lack
 of interest or that ASA killed the bill, ASA continue to state that the
 state bills, including Florida's, would 'rely on the Florida court system
 to assist repairers in acquiring automotive service information.' This is
 not only ridiculous, but it alleges that the car companies have no plans to
 comply with the Right to Repair Act, therefore, forcing the aftermarket and
 motoring consumers to work through the courts.
     "If the car companies comply with the Right to Repair Act, which will
 be the law of either the state it passed in or in Congress, then no one
 will have to rely on any courts. So, unless the car companies are planning
 to break the law, there should not be any problems for the aftermarket.
     "Furthermore, ASA states the Right to Repair Act 'would have required
 {in Florida} the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to adopt
 rules setting forth a method by which a manufacturer of motor vehicles must
 provide certain information'. CARE asks, what's wrong with that? It was
 California's SB 1146 in 2000 which gave both the California and national
 aftermarket the ability to fully repair the emissions system. Senate Bill
 1146 paved the way for the U.S. EPA to regulate that the car companies had
 to release all of their emissions information nationwide by the end of
 Spring 2003.
     "It's interesting that ASA is the only aftermarket association in the
 country which opposes the passage of the Right to Repair Act. Although ASA
 talks the talk of NASTF providing all the necessary and complete repair
 information, it doesn't walk the walk. Steve Brotherton, an ASA member who
 testified last year in Congress in opposition to the bill and in favor of
 NASTF, recently stated on the IATN site that 'NASTF doesn't work and never
     "In a 2006 poll conducted by the national, non-partisan 'The Tarrance
 Group' and 'Lake Research Partners', of 800 randomly chosen owners or
 managers of automotive aftermarket businesses, the following information is
 available: ASA represents less than 10 percent of the automotive
 aftermarket, yet 87 percent of its membership supports passage of the Right
 to Repair Act. The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) supports
 passage by 90 percent, and 88 percent of the Automotive Aftermarket
 Industry Association's membership supports passage. ASA's opposition to
 passage of The Right to Repair Act is clearly not driven by its membership,
 but only by its leadership.
     "It's important to remember that the so-called agreement between ASA
 and the car company associations is not legally binding and is simply a
 promise from associations to release repair information. It has no
 enforcement or oversight and is thereby has no mechanism to keep the car
 companies' feet to the fire. Since the alleged agreement, independent
 repair technicians still have diagnostic tools, despite investing thousands
 of dollars, that lag three years behind in updates. And, as one aftermarket
 technician stated, he's continuously put into another site when logging
 onto a car company website.
     "If the car companies are sincere about releasing 'all' of the
 necessary repair information, then they shouldn't be concerned with Right
 to Repair legislation, which codifies the 'promises' they made in the
 alleged ASA agreement.
     CARE urges all aftermarket technicians, whether or not they are ASA or
 not, to contact us for factual information," concluded Parde.

SOURCE Coalition for Auto Repair Equality