Slam Dunk for New Jersey's Motoring Consumers as Assembly's Consumer Affairs Committee Unanimously Votes for Right to Repair Act, States CARE

Oct 19, 2006, 01:00 ET from Coalition for Auto Repair Equality

    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
     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