Federal legislation will provide consumers rights to repair their vehicle while protecting a free and fair repair market
Washington, D.C.—The “Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act” (H.R. 906) has been reintroduced. The legislation will ensure the preservation of consumer choice, a fair marketplace, and the continued safe operation of the nation’s 292 million registered passenger and commercial motor vehicles, 70% of which are maintained by independent repair facilities. United States Reps. Neal Dunn (R-FL), Brendan Boyle (D-PA-02), Warren Davidson (R-OH-08), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA-03) reintroduced the bill.
The REPAIR Act will accomplish this by:
- Preserving consumer access to high quality and affordable vehicle repair by ensuring that vehicle owners and their repairers of choice have access to necessary repair and maintenance tools and data as vehicles continue to become more advanced.
- Ensuring access to critical repair tools and information. All tools and equipmen, wireless transmission of repair and diagnostic data, and access to on-board diagnostic and telematic systems needed to repair a vehicle must be made available to the independent repair industry.
- Ensuring cybersecurity by allowing vehicle manufacturers to secure vehicle-generated data and requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop standards for how vehicle generated data necessary for repair can be accessed securely.
- Providing transparency for consumers by requiring vehicle owners be informed that they can choose where and how to get their vehicle repaired.
- Creating a stakeholder advisory committee and providing them with the statutory authority to provide recommendations to the FTC on how to address emerging barriers to vehicle repair and maintenance.
- Providing ongoing enforcement by establishing a process for consumers and independent repair facilities to file complaints with the FTC regarding alleged violations of the requirements in the bill and a requirement that the FTC act within five months of a claim.
As vehicle technology continues to advance, new barriers to a competitive auto repair market are emerging. These barriers limit consumer choice in where to repair their motor vehicles and increase the cost to repair and maintain vehicles. The REPAIR Act will reduce these barriers, putting consumers’ interests first.
The bill is introduced on “significant momentum” for choice in repair. In November 2020, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly voiced their support for Ballot Question 1 (also known as Right to Repair) with 75% of the vote, which preserves their right as vehicle owners to have access to and control of their vehicle’s mechanical data necessary for service and repair at the shops of their choice.
In May 2021, the FTC released their Nixing the Fix report which highlighted barriers that vehicle manufacturers have instituted to squash a consumer’s right to repair. The FTC strongly supports expanding consumer repair options and found “scant evidence” for repair restrictions imposed by original equipment manufacturers.
In July 2021, President Bident issued the “Promoting Competition in the American Economy” executive order which encouraged the FTC to address anti-competitive repair restrictions. In December 2022, the Digital Fair Repair Act was signed into law by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and in January 2023, John Deere signed an MOU with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The REPAIR Act is the only bill that addresses vehicle maintenance and repair restrictions, including heavy duty vehicles the U.S. economy depends on for freight transport.
MEMA Aftermarket, Auto Care Association, CAR (Consumer Access to Repair) Coalition, and Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) support the legislation. Automotive aftermarket companies can urge legislators in their district to also co-sponsor the bill by visiting repairact.com.