Canada's House of Parliament Puts Pedal to the Metal and Overwhelmingly Passes Canadian Right to Repair Act

May 14, 2009, 16:34 ET from Coalition for Auto Repair Equality

Canadian Consumers Look Forward to Relief from High New Car Dealership Repair Costs, States CARE & AAIA

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Canada's House of Parliament boldly voted to give its motoring consumers and small businesses relief by overwhelmingly passing its Right to Repair Act, C-273, in a vote of 247 to 18. "Although Canada's consumers and businesses must still wait for the legislation to go through several more phases before it becomes law, the House of Parliament chose to help consumers overcome the high costs of new car dealership repairs by allowing them to have a choice of where, how and by whom to have their vehicles repaired," stated Ray Pohlman, president, The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE).

Canada's first vote follows a pro-consumer precedent set by the European Union (EU) almost two years ago, when the EU passed its Right to Repair Act. "It's obvious that although the car companies continue to insist that repair information and problems are not a problem and don't exist, except in the minds of the independent repairers, the problem exists not only in the United States, but globally," continued Pohlman.

The reasons for the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act continue to remain and grow. Vehicles that are 1994 and newer are equipped with computers that control the repair and service information on most of the vehicles' systems, including, but not limited to: air bags, brakes, ignition keys and systems, check engine light, tire pressure, oil changes, electronics and steering mechanisms

The only way for motorists to have these systems and their "entire" vehicle repaired and parts replaced is to return to the new car dealerships. This has created a safety hazard for those who need immediate repairs but may not be near the new car dealership or ANY new car dealerships, hurts low and fixed income motorists, hurts fuel efficiency, cleaner air and jobs.

Aaron Lowe, vice president, Government Affairs for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), said, "We are pleased to see that the Canadian Parliament has taken action to ensure that its car owners can have access to a competitive vehicle repair market. We hope that the U.S. Congress will follow this lead and enact the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, as soon as possible."

According to a release by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA), last week, after years of stalling, car manufacturers signed a 'letter of intent' for a voluntary agreement, but Parliament recognized this as a delaying tactic that did not provide a credible alternative. The industry needs to move forward with a permanent and universal solution that is more than just a promissory note.

Marc Brazeau, president of AIA Canada, said, "Passage of bill C-273 is crucial to protecting jobs in Canada's automotive industry (aftermarket) and ensuring consumers have a right to repair their vehicle at their place of choice."

Car companies' associations in the United States signed a similar 'letter of intent' in 2002, promising to release repair information. This was also viewed by many in the States as a stalling tactic since the aftermarket continues to wait for all of the repair information to fully repair vehicles. "As vehicles become even more computerized and car dealerships continue to close due the economy, motoring consumers need immediate relief. It's time for the U.S. Congress to come into line with other nations and pass HR 2057, The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act," concluded Pohlman.

About CARE

The U.S. aftermarket employs five million people nationwide in over 495,000 locations, including "mom and pop" shops. The Right to Repair Act in the U.S. Congress can be followed at

SOURCE Coalition for Auto Repair Equality