TIA supports 'new and improved' Right to Repair Act

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The Tire Industry Association (TIA) submitted testimony on the Motor Vehicle Owner's Right to Repair Act (H.R. 2048) at a hearing of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Workforce, Empowerment and Government earlier today.

"The time for passage of the Right to Repair Act has never been more important to the tire industry or more critical to our members," says Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of TIA.

"With the recent ruling by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to mandate tire pressure monitoring systems in every new vehicle as of September 1, 2007, it is critical that our independent tire dealers have the information from the original equipment manufacturers necessary to install, service, maintain, recalibrate and fix these TPMS systems."

TIA feels strongly that the handshake agreement in place between the Automotive Service Association and the auto manufacturers is not enough to ensure affordable access to service information.

"The automobile manufacturers that signed the letter of agreement with ASA oppose passage of the Right to Repair Act. This makes no sense!" says Littlefield. "If these manufacturers plan to keep their end of the agreement and make information accessible and affordable to independent service providers, this legislation only backs up their commitment to the automotive service industry.

"The fact that these manufacturers oppose this legislation causes me to question their commitment to the agreement and forces TIA to keep supporting the legislation."

The 109th Congress' version of the Right to Repair Act has addressed several concerns by the auto manufacturers and the Federal Trade Commission.

"The act never intended to force the auto manufacturers to give away proprietary information or 'trade secrets'" says Littlefield. "This point has been clarified in the 'new and improved' bill. Also, this year's bill clarifies the FTC's involvement with enforcing the mandate on auto manufacturers."

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