The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE), and automobile manufacturers, are discussing an agreement that will give automobile owners the choice of where to take their vehicle for repair. The decision would be a victory for aftermarket groups who have been fighting for over a decade to ensure that vehicle repair is affordable and convenient for all Americans.

Most vehicles manufactured today, come with systems that do not allow independent repair shop technicians to access all the information required to diagnose and repair problems. By restricting access to information, such as computer codes, the vehicle manufacturers are forcing customers to have work performed at dealerships. Consumers faced with no alternative are restricted in their ability to shop for competitive prices, schedule convenient times and locations for service, and get second opinions on recommended repairs and costs.

In the agreement car companies would have to provide non-dealership shops with access to the same repair and diagnostic information provided to dealers, at fair and reasonable terms. In addition to unlocking the access to computer codes and diagnostic information, diagnostic tools would be standardized to work on all vehicles.

The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act, sometimes also referred to as Right to Repair, is a name for several related proposed bills in the United States Congress and several state legislatures which would guarantee that independent service facilities get the information necessary to diagnose and repair vehicles. If passed, this legislation will help ensure that consumers can choose the kind of repair service that is best suited for their particular needs.

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