Auto Service World
News   July 9, 2021   by Christine Hogg

MEMA & AASA support President Biden’s executive order on the right to repair

The Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association applaud President Biden for issuing an executive order today directing the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish new rules making it easier and cheaper for consumers to repair items they own – including their vehicles.

As a strong advocate for access to consumer choice and vehicle data in the automotive aftermarket, AASA and MEMA thank the President for addressing this critical issue.

The executive order includes 72 specific initiatives including the requirement that the Federal Trade Commission initiate a rulemaking on repair and maintenance. AASA and MEMA have been advocating on behalf of the industry in Washington and urging the administration and Congress to act on this issue, including additional legislative direction for statutory authority.

“We look forward to working with the FTC to protect safe, affordable and equitable motor vehicle repair for American consumers and applaud the president for taking action,” commented Paul McCarthy, AASA President. “Consumer choice and competitive markets are essential to the success of the automotive aftermarket and today’s executive order make it a federal priority.”

“We applaud the president for taking this step, which will help ensure safe and affordable transportation for consumers over the life of a vehicle,” commented MEMA’s CEO Bill Long. “The industry must align behind repairabilty, as it supports brand and resale values, economic equity, and customer satisfaction over the lifetime of a U.S vehicle fleet that averages over 12 years old. We pledge to work closely with the administration, Congress, and all industry stakeholders to address these issues.”

“I applaud the President’s executive order. This paves the path for a bright future for the entire automotive aftermarket,” commented Eric Sills, AASA Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Motor Products, Inc., which employees approximately 2,400 people in 8 states.  “More importantly, without these rules, American consumers would have limited repair options. Through this executive order, the administration has made a strong statement that consumer access to quality vehicle repair must be protected.”

In May 2021, the FTC submitted a report to Congress identifying anti-competitive repair restrictions, parts limitations, and inaccessible software specially in the vehicle manufacturing and mobile phone repair and maintenance. The report notes that, “there is scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions.” The FTC findings are in lock step with what AASA and MEMA have been advocating for on behalf of the aftermarket.

The executive order includes vehicle manufacturing, as well as other consumer and trade products such as tractors, cell phone, and other consumer electronics.

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