ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- "Despite misleading and anti-consumer testimony from car company representatives, the New Jersey Assembly's Consumer Affairs Committee today voted for the rights of motoring consumers by unanimously passing the New Jersey version of 'The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, A-931,'" stated David Parde, president, The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE). The New Jersey "Right to Repair Act" gives motoring consumers the ability to choose where, how and by whom to have their vehicles repaired, whose parts they wish to purchase, even work on their vehicles themselves. "This empowers motoring consumers to actually exercise their rights over their own property, this time their vehicles. It's about who owns the vehicle--the consumers who purchased it or the manufacturers," continued Parde. Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, sponsor of A-931 and a Member of the Consumer Affairs Committee (D-Trenton), stated, "A-931 takes great strides in promoting fairness and equality in the marketplace for both service providers and consumers. This bill is pro-small business and creates competition in the auto repair industry which will give car owners greater options in choosing who can work on their vehicles. In a state, like New Jersey, where reliable personal transportation is a necessity, The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act will help control vehicle upkeep costs and ensure that those who rely on their cars can maintain them properly." The catalyst for The Right to Repair Act is the inability of the automotive aftermarket to fully repair vehicles that are equipped with computers. Vehicles that are 1994 and newer (and some earlier models) are equipped with computers that control the repair information on vital systems such as: air bags, brakes, steering mechanisms, transmissions, fuel injection, batteries, ignition systems, tire pressure, oil and more. The only way for motorists to have these systems and their entire vehicle repaired and parts replaced is to return to the car dealerships, creating possible safety hazards and additional expenses for consumers. Three New Jersey residents who are aftermarket technicians testified in favor of passing A-931: Dave Scaler of The Mechanics Education Association (MEA), John O'Connor, owner of Shade Tree Mechanic, and Robert Everett, past president of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP-NJ) and owner of Bayville Auto Parts. The car company representatives, some of whom traveled from Washington, D.C., testified that consumers don't have a right to their repair information on their vehicles. Among those supporting passage for A-931 are: Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP-NJ); Service Station Dealers of America, Tire Industry Association, American Automobile Association, Consumer Electronics Association, NFIB, Keystone Automotive, and others. There are over seven thousand independent repair shops throughout New Jersey. The next stop for A-931 is a second reading on the Assembly Floor. A date has not yet been scheduled. CARE represents companies throughout New Jersey, among them: NAPA, Midas, CARQUEST, AutoZone, Advance Auto and Jiffy Lube.
SOURCE Coalition for Auto Repair Equality