Poll shows Americans expect choice when it comes to car repairs

The CAR Coalition, a growing group of independent auto parts and repair companies, associations and insurers committed to preserving consumer choice and affordable vehicle repair, continues to advocate for consumer choice on the collision repair market, as new polls suggest that efforts to provide access at the state and federal levels enjoy broad support.

The issue is also gaining traction in Congress. Later this week, the House Small Business Subcommittee on Underserved, Agricultural and Rural Business Development is scheduled to hold a hearing on the issue of right to repair, including in the auto industry.

According to recent research by Ducker Carlisle regarding the potential impact of right to repair legislation, 59% of respondents said they would vote to approve right to repair legislation. When those who indicated they would not vote on the issue were removed from the equation, support jumped to 80% in favour. This follows a survey by the CAR Coalition last year which found that 78% of respondents were in favor of right to repair legislation.

The CAR Coalition says it strongly supports two bipartisan federal laws focused on the issue of consumers’ right to repair in the automotive industry, the REPAIR Act and the SMART Act. These two measures would increase consumer choice for automotive aftermarket parts, reduce costs for drivers and insurers, and increase competition in the aftermarket aftermarket.

“The CAR Coalition believes it is essential to protect consumer rights in the auto collision repair market,” said CAR Coalition Executive Director Justin Rzepka. “We also believe that with rising costs, choice has never been more important. Our coalition has been leading this file for more than two years because consumers need and expect options on the collision repair market.We applaud the bipartisan sponsors of pro-consumer REPAIR and SMART Acts who are tackling this critical issue.

The REPAIR Act will: ensure vehicle owners get the parts, tools and information they need to choose replacement parts; require automakers to provide consumers with the essential information, software and tools they need to repair their vehicles; require car manufacturers to give consumers access to their vehicle data needed for repair and maintenance; and requiring NHTSA and the FTC to come up with new rules to ensure consumer access to vehicle data and ensure cybersecurity.

The SMART Act will: reduce automaker patents on collision repair parts from 14 to 2.5 years; allow aftermarket manufacturers to manufacture and test parts during the newly defined patent period; allow aftermarket manufacturers to sell a collision repair part after the 2.5-year patent life has expired; and would not prevent automakers from enforcing patents against other automakers during the 14-year patent life.

To learn more about the work of the CAR Coalition, visit www.carcoalition.com

Alejandro L. Myatt