New Jersey's Motoring Consumers and Independent Auto Repair Industry Thank U.S. Rep. Mike Ferguson

NJ Congressman Votes in Favor of Pro-Consumer Right to Repair Act, Says


May 26, 2006, 01:00 ET from Coalition for Auto Repair Equality

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- "New Jersey's motoring
 consumers and the New Jersey automotive aftermarket thank U.S.
 Representative Mike Ferguson (R-Warren) for voting for The Motor Vehicle
 Owners' Right to Repair Act, HR 2048, in his Subcommittee on Commerce,
 Trade and Consumer Protection, on May 25, 2006," stated David Parde,
 president, The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE). The vote was a
 battle and close, 14 to 13 in favor of consumers and small business.
     "The Right to Repair Act," as it is often known, was reintroduced in
 May 2005, by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Chairman of the House Energy and
 Commerce Committee, to address the dissatisfaction voiced by motoring
 consumers and the automotive aftermarket that 1994 and newer vehicles (and
 some earlier models) which are equipped with computer systems must be
 repaired by the car dealerships, rather than the consumers' repair shop of
     The vehicles' computer systems control the repair, maintenance and
 parts replacement on vital systems such as: air bags, brakes, steering
 mechanisms, batteries, oil changes, tire pressure and more. Following the
 introduction of The Right to Repair Act, the car companies, which have
 complete access to the repair information, released some information, but
 not enough for the automotive aftermarket to repair the entire vehicle.
 This inability to repair the entire vehicle forces many consumers back to
 the car dealerships for higher-priced repairs.
     "It's very simple," stated Parde. "When consumers own their vehicles
 they should have the ability to make their own judgment calls on that
 property. But, unfortunately, the car companies disagree with that
 free-market philosophy. When asked in a May 17, 2006, Legislative Hearing
 in the same Subcommittee, if consumers have the right to their own repair
 {auto} information, Mike Stanton, spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile
 Manufacturers stated, 'No. Because anyone could have it ... and,
 manufacturers don't have a duty and consumers don't have a right.'
     "Fortunately for New Jersey's consumers and small business, Rep.
 Ferguson believes that consumer choice is a fundamental American right,"
 stated Parde.
     The next step for The Right to Repair Act is the House Energy and
 Commerce Committee (of which the Subcommittee is a part), where Rep.
 Ferguson will again have the opportunity to vote for HR 2048. Another New
 Jersey Representative, Frank Pallone, will have the first opportunity to
 vote on this pro-consumer bill as a Member of the House Energy and Commerce
     "New Jersey Representatives could be the deciding factor whether
 motoring consumers have choices in their vehicle repairs and whether the
 automotive aftermarket will be able to fully compete in the market place,"
 concluded Parde.
     The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) is a national
 organization representing companies in the automotive aftermarket, among
 them: NAPA, CARQUEST, AutoZone, Advance Auto, O'Reilly's and others. Five
 million people nationwide are employed in the aftermarket in over 495,000
 locations, including "mom and pop" shops.

SOURCE Coalition for Auto Repair Equality