Auto Service World
News   May 9, 2003   by Auto Service World

Right To Repair Bill In U.S. "Almost Life or Death"

All eyes are on a "right to repair" bill making its way through the U.S. legislature, and with good reason.
That legislation, coming on the heels of legislation in California requiring car makers to make emissions system data available to the aftermarket, is designed to expand the information available to the entire vehicle. It is, not surprisingly, a measure being opposed by automakers and their dealer networks.
"It’s almost a life or death situation," said Temple Sloan, president of General Parts, Inc., parent of Carquest Canada. Sloan, speaking at the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium this morning,, says that it is a good example of what the aftermarket can achieve. "It’s a prime example of why our industry is getting closer together," he said. "I don’t know if we can expect the OE to drive thngs. If we don’t speak with one voice, we are not going to be heard."
"It’s incumbant on everyone to make whatever effort they can," offered David O’Reilly of U.S. chain O’Reilly Automotive. "It’s important to us and it’s a great way to demonstrate what we can do together when we put our minds together."
"The part I don’t understand," says Bob McKenna, of Genuine Parts Limited, parent of Napa Canada, "is that there is no possible way [car dealers] could fix all the cars on the road. It’s just insanity. They’d have the most unhappy car owners. I really have a hard time understanding their logic and their thinking.
"That aside, I believe that necessity is the mother of invention. The industry is very innovative. I’m a believer that we have to do all we can to get the tools and information, but there will always be people who will figure out how to fix vehicles.
"Eventually people who make laws will figure out that this makes sense, [but if they don’t] I don’t think that the aftermarket will be locked out of repairing a vehicle. If [automakers] don’t tell us, we’ll figure it out."
The Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium wrapped up this morning in Dearborn, Mich. The executive conference provides information for the automotive aftermarket and proceeds fund aftermarket scholarships.

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