Auto Service World
News   February 11, 2014   by Auto Service World

NASTF Responds to Right-To-Repair Agreement

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance), the Association of Global Automakers (Global), the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), and the Coalition for Automotive Repair Equality (CARE) recently announced their collective acceptance of a national agreement to ensure consumer choice in post-warranty auto repair, decisively ending the longstanding “Right to Repair” debate within the industry.

In Canada, the legislative route was abandoned several years ago in favour of the voluntary Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard (CASIS) agreement.

The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF), a long-standing voluntary body through which automaker service information is made available in the U.S. has released the following statement in response to this announcement:

“On January 22, 2014, two automaker trade associations and two aftermarket trade associations revealed in a joint press release that they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which essentially extended by voluntary agreement the recent Right?to?Repair law in Massachusetts across all 50 states. The creation of a Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) in the MOU and the lack of specific mention of the NASTF Service Information Request (SIR) in the MOU caused confusion in the industry over the future role of NASTF.

Following publication of the MOU, AAIA released this clarification as part of a list of Frequently Asked Questions:

Should a consumer or repair shop be unable to obtain information, software or a tool from a automaker, the complaining party would first be required to contact the car company either directly or through the National Automotive Service Task Force, to request access to the information, tool or software [SIR]… If the shop or consumer is still not satisfied, then the individual or shop can take the issue before a Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) established under the MOU.

The NASTF Service Information Standards document has two levels for resolving service information gaps: The SIR in Section III B and C; and Arbitration in Section III D. The DRP in the MOU, then, only replaces Section III D (arbitration). Regarding the future of NASTF, it’s noteworthy that the NASTF SIR is but one of several projects entrusted to NASTF. The Vehicle Security Professional (VSP) Registry is growing at a rate of about 20% a year with significant benefit to automakers, the aftermarket and consumers. Additionally, OEM aftermarket cooperation in NASTF’s several committees is a unique and valuable asset to both sectors of the automotive industry, which took years of effort to develop.

The operational interaction between the NASTF SIR and the MOU DRP is yet to be defined and NASTF will likely begin soon to address these issues in a rewrite of the Service Information Standards.”

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