Car manufacturers agree to share repair data in Europe

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Four auto manufacturers have promised the European Commission (EC) that they will provide technical information to independent repair facilities in Europe.

The auto manufacturers are General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Daimler-Chrysler and Fiat.

In announcing the agreement, the EC stated that commitments were made "after (an investigation) found that inadequate access to the full range of technical information could drive independent repairers from the market."

EC officials also said that lack of access to diagnostic and repair data would infringe European Commission treaty rules on restrictive business practices.

"The resulting reduction in competition between car repairers could lead to less choice and higher prices for consumers."

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, which is pushing for the implementation of Right to Repair legislation in the U.S., praised the EC "for taking intiative in obtaining the truth in order to protect the ability of independent businesses to compete on a level playing field.

"However, we find it disturbing that the EC is taking a more aggressive role in protecting consumers from a repair monopoly than the U.S."

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