Two Pennsylvania U.S. Representatives Vote to Protect Consumers' 'Right to Repair' and Small Business U.S. Reps Timothy Murphy and Joseph Pitts Stand United for Motoring

Consumers, States CARE

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- "Two Pennsylvania U.S.
 Representatives voted for the rights of Pennsylvania's motoring consumers
 and the automotive aftermarket when they voted to pass 'The Motor Vehicle
 Owners' Right to Repair Act, HR 2048' in their 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.
     "U.S. Representatives Timothy Murphy (R-Pittsburgh, Westmoreland
 County) and Joseph Pitts (R-Lancaster, Unionville, Kennett Square) stood
 squarely with Pennsylvania's motoring consumers and small business.
 Fortunately for Pennsylvanians, both Congressmen believe that consumer
 choice is a fundamental American right," stated Parde.
     "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, ignition keys 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," continued 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.'"
     The next step for The Right to Repair Act is the House Energy and
 Commerce Committee (of which the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and
 Consumer Protection is a part). Both Reps. Murphy and Pitts will have the
 opportunity to again vote for consumers and small business in the House
 Energy and Commerce Committee (date not yet scheduled).
     Another Pennsylvania Representative, Mike Doyle (D-Pittsburgh,
 McKeesport, Swissvale), serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee,
 where he too will have the opportunity to vote on The Right to Repair Act.
 Rep. Doyle has not yet cosponsored or supported HR 2048.
     "Pennsylvania 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

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