National Agreement Brings End to Vehicle ‘Right to Repair’ Debate

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Auto manufacturers, suppliers, aftermarket specialists, and repair companies announced Wednesday their collective acceptance of a national agreement to ensure consumer choice in post-warranty auto repair. The agreement — based on a recent law finalized in Massachusetts — ends the longstanding “Right to Repair” debate within the industry.

“This agreement will ensure vehicle owners will have competitive and quality choices in their repairs while strengthening the auto repair industry nationwide,” says Ray Pohlman, president of the Coalition for Automotive Repair Equality, one of the participating organizations. “This agreement illustrates what can happen when organizations focus on putting customers and consumers first.”

The law requires automakers to sell the same repair and diagnostic information and tools that are provided to franchised dealerships to independent repair shops. According to the Right to Repair Coalition, the law “will ensure that consumers always have a choice in where to service their vehicles.”

The signed memorandum of understanding extends the essential provisions for all light vehicles negotiated in the Massachusetts law nationwide and impacts all companies and organizations that are currently members of the signatory associations. This includes the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Global Automakers, the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, and the Coalition for Automotive Repair Equality.

“Much like with fuel efficiency economy and greenhouse gases, a single national standard regarding vehicle repair protocols is imperative,” says Mike Stanton, president and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers. “A patchwork of fifty differing state bills, each with its own interpretations and compliance parameters doesn’t make sense.  This agreement provides the uniform clarity our industry needs and a nationwide platform to move on.”

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