Louisiana Congressman Drops Cosponsorship of Pro-Consumer, Pro-Small Business Bill, States CARE

Jul 27, 2006, 01:00 ET from Coalition for Auto Repair Equality

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Representative Rodney
 Alexander (R-Monroe, Quitman, Alexandria), a previous cosponsor of The
 Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, HR 2048, has dropped his
 cosponsorship of this pro-motoring consumer, pro-small business
 legislation. "It's disappointing that Rep. Alexander has dropped his
 cosponsorship. The Right to Repair Act, as it's often known, allows
 motorists to choose where, how and by whom to have their vehicles repaired,
 whose parts they wish to purchase, even work on their vehicles themselves,"
 stated Sandy Bass-Cors, Executive Director for the Coalition for Auto
 Repair Equality (CARE).
     The bill was introduced to combat a growing auto repair problem for
 motorists and the independent repair industry that began when vehicles were
 equipped with computers. The computers control repair information on vital
 systems such as: air bags, brakes, steering mechanisms, oil changes, tire
 pressure, batteries, transmissions, fuel injection, ignition systems/keys,
 and much more. The only way for motorists to have these systems and their
 entire vehicle repaired and parts replaced is to return to the car
     "Forcing consumers to return to car dealerships has become a hardship
 for low and fixed income motorists, creates a potential for safety hazards
 for those who need immediate repairs but may not live near a car
 dealership, may be traveling or just not have the personal finances. This
 is definitely a safety issue," continued Bass-Cors.
     "Following the devastation by the recent Hurricanes in Louisiana,
 motorists who have lost everything, have been trying to rebuild their lives
 through jobs and communities. These Hurricane victims need affordable
 transportation to travel to work and school, not more road blocks. They
 can't afford expensive car dealership repair prices and repairs, so they
 depend on their neighborhood garages and parts stores. But, if those
 businesses have difficulty rebuilding because they can't repair the entire
 vehicle, then everyone will lose."
     Car companies have aggressively been attempting to kill this bipartisan
 bill. The car companies claim that all of the necessary repair information
 is available, and that all this bill is about is their proprietary
 information. "The legislation protects the car companies' proprietary
 information and protects consumers. To the contrary, the independents don't
 need or want blue prints or schematics in order to complete repairs.
 Motorists who have broken down in desolate areas or late at night need
 help, not to be told that their vehicles have to go to a car dealership
     "Ignition keys are another safety problem. Keys with computer chips
 must be duplicated at car dealerships for very high prices. Although some
 keys can be duplicated, they are able to only open the door -- not start
 the engine. So, motorists can come in out of the rain, they just can't go
 anywhere," stated Bass-Cors.
     The Right to Repair Act has had several congressional hearings with the
 latest on May 25, 2006, where the bill passed out of the Subcommittee on
 Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection by a vote of 14 to 13. The next
 step is a vote in the full Energy and Commerce Committee. Although Rep.
 Alexander doesn't serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee, his
 cosponsorship showed strength and support for consumers.
     "It's our fervent hope that Rep. Alexander will re-cosponsor this
 important legislation so that all Louisiana consumers, indeed, all of
 America's motoring consumers, will have a choice in their car repairs,"
 concluded Bass-Cors.
     The Right to Repair Act has broad support among many diverse groups,
 among them: RetireSafe (which represents 400,000 seniors); National Grange,
 Service Station Dealers of America, Tire Industry Association, AAA and
     Louisiana's aftermarket locations number: 3,238. The aftermarket
 nationwide employs five million people in over 495,000 locations, including
 "mom and pop" shops.

SOURCE Coalition for Auto Repair Equality