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Right to Repair Act reaches 101 House co-sponsor mark

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Sponsorship of the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, H.R. 2048, is up to 101 members in the House of Representatives, according to David Parde, president of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE).

"That we have 101 co-sponsors is a testament to the bill's merit," he says. "It also shows the staying power of our Automotive Aftermarket Coalition and motoring consumers which have been diligent in pushing the bill forward."

Re-introduced by Representatives Joe Barton (R-Tex.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) on May 3, 2005, the proposed legislation requires that automobile manufacturers make available to all motoring consumers and independent service and repair shops the same service and tool information that car dealership service centers have, thus fostering free market competition and affordable choices for consumers.

"This is an important issue for consumers, and I'm glad to see so many of my colleagues share my support for providing choice in auto repair," said Barton, chairman of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce.

The bill is in the Committee on Commerce and Energy. Two previous hearings have been held this session.

"The automotive aftermarket is unified in its goal of passing the bill," says Parde. "Small businesses, companies and individuals comprising the automotive aftermarket are keenly aware that if the bill doesn't pass, not only will the aftermarket lose business, but consumers will be big losers as well.

"Consumers will lose money, they will lose convenience, they will lose their freedom of choice in where to take their cars for repair; and they will lose the most important thing, which is the feeling of ownership."

"Automobile manufacturers haven't been playing fair with consumers," says Towns. "We need a level-playing field between dealer service centers and independent auto repair shops to provide equity of information for consumers.

"Dealership service centers have had an unfair advantage because auto manufacturers delay giving independent repair shops the latest vehicle information and that's just plain unfair," he adds.

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