Automotive vehicle owners will be glad to know that the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act or HR 2057 has received the support of 45 sponsors in Congress. The latest representatives to give their support were Reps. Michael E. Capuano (D-MA), Christopher P. Carney (D-PA), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Michael K. Conaway (R-TX) and Brad Miller (D-NC). They upheld the right of automotive vehicle owners to auto repair and truck repair on their own terms.
As the worldwide financial crisis continues, the cost of auto repair and truck repair becomes a heavy burden for most automotive vehicle owners, all of whom are seeking more affordable options in vehicle maintenance and repair. Owners with knowledge in automotive systems would rather do their own auto repair or truck repair, using reputable original car parts from trustworthy sources like AC Delco. For more difficult engine repair or car transmission system repair, however, they may have no choice but to find a professional mechanic in Tampa who charges reasonably.
More problems arise with newer vehicles, though, that contain extensive computerization. There is not much that an automotive vehicle owner or even a mechanic in a Tampa automotive shop can do for such vehicles other than auto oil change perhaps. Only dealerships have the necessary knowledge for their repair. Unfortunately, having your auto repair or truck repair done in a dealership will add about 34 percent to your costs. The monopoly of knowledge of automotive dealerships extends even to auto inspection of computerized cars.
With the many lay offs happening throughout the country, many vehicle owners are losing their jobs. With no income, they may not afford the high cost or repair in dealerships. Even for vehicle owners who have not lost their jobs, the accessibility of dealerships may become an issue. With the economic crisis, many automotive dealerships across the country are closing shop. If a vehicle owner is not able to find a dealership nearby, how will he have his vehicle repaired?
The monopoly of knowledge has a negative impact on the independent automotive service industry and car parts industry in the US, serviced by 5 million workers or 2.6 percent of the American work force. These are huge industries considering that there are 201 million licensed drivers in the country and 240 million registered vehicles. These industries produce sales worth $267.1 billion each year, equivalent to 2.4 percent of the of the US gross national product. If the independent automotive service industry and car parts industry are closed down, a lot of people will suffer and the economy will be weakened further.
The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act requires automotive manufacturers to disclose the same service information that they give their dealership service centers to consumers and independent automotive maintenance shops. The Act authorizes the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the enforcement of the bill and to oversee it. The FTC is expected to promulgate regulations that will protect consumers and will also encourage fair competition in the marketplace. Basically, the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act affirms the right of automotive vehicle owners to choose where to have their auto repair or truck repair done and which car parts to use.
Automotive manufacturers should not be afraid, though, because the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act does not oblige them to disclose trade secrets and proprietary manufacturing processes. The intellectual property rights of automotive manufacturers are properly recognized and protected.
Supporters of the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act are confident that it will soon succeed. Automotive vehicle owners’ right to auto repair and truck repair will be upheld.