Right to Repair Act Introduced in Oregon Legislature

Mar 08, 2011, 10:47 ET from Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association

HB 3243 Protects Oregon Motorists' Right to Decide Who Repairs Their Vehicles

BETHESDA, Md., March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Right to Repair Act (HB 3243) has been introduced into the Oregon legislature to ensure that the state's motorists and their trusted repair facilities have equal access to the same non-proprietary repair codes and service information as the new car dealerships. Repair shops will pay a fair price for the data which will give them the ability to compete on a level playing field, resulting in lower prices for consumers.  

"This legislation is critical to motorists all over Oregon, but especially in rural areas," said Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, a chief sponsor of HB 3243.  "If local repair shops don't have fair access to information and tools to repair cars, motorists will be forced to drive miles to get those repairs at car dealerships."

Motorist safety is another reason for Right to Repair legislation, according to Rep. Val Hoyle, D-Eugene, co-sponsor of HB 3243. "Forcing motorists to drive to other cities for repairs, especially for critical systems such as anti-lock brakes, could pose safety issues, and so could tardy distribution by car manufacturers of safety or recall warnings."

There are more than 2,500 independently-owned auto repair shops in Oregon and an aftermarket industry that employs more than 25,000 Oregonians. "These jobs in small, family-owned businesses are at risk if they have to turn away their customers," warns Rep. Tim Freeman, R-Roseburg, owner of an auto repair shop and co-sponsor of HB 3243.

A June 2010 Consumer Reports survey indicated 74 percent customer satisfaction with independent auto repair shops. A 2010 Oregon voter survey indicates a high degree of satisfaction with independent auto repair shops and overwhelming support for the right to choose who repairs their vehicles.

Under the federal Clean Air Act, there is precedent for car manufacturers to provide all repair shops with Web-based information necessary to maintain air emission systems on vehicles. "This non-discriminatory approach has been in place for years without any problems," said Barbara Crest, executive director of NATA. "It is a model for what we need in Oregon for all information necessary to repair vehicles and keep motorists safe."

About Right to Repair:

The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act protects motoring consumers from a growing and potentially hazardous vehicle repair monopoly by requiring that vehicle manufacturers provide full access at a reasonable cost to all non-proprietary service information, tools and safety-related bulletins needed to repair motor vehicles. The legislation provides car companies with strong protections for their trade secrets, only requiring them to make available the same diagnostic and repair information they provide their franchised dealers to the independent vehicle repair market.  For more information about the Right to Repair Act, visit www.righttorepair.org.

SOURCE Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association