Auto Service World
News   October 15, 2021   by Adam Malik

New ‘right to repair’ campaign launches

A new group has emerged to help in the fight for ‘right to repair’ in the automotive aftermarket.

The CAR Coalition is made up of automotive parts companies, repair shops, associations and insurers that are “committed to preserving consumer choice and affordable vehicle repair,” a statement announcing its launch said.

The group is American-based. It describes its campaign as being one is multi-million dollars and in support of the R2R movement and legislative measures

One of those measures is the Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act, a bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Its purpose is to protect consumer choice when repairing their vehicles while also allowing for vehicle manufacturers to protect intellectual property rights.

“We’re excited to kickstart this national campaign in the fight to restore consumer choice, lower auto repair costs, and ensure greater competition in the alternative parts industry,” said Justin Rzepka, executive director of the CAR Coalition. “Consumers and small businesses lose when 15-year design patents keep independent manufacturers from offering safe, quality, and affordable aftermarket repair parts. The SMART Act would combat design patent abuse that restricts choice and drives up prices by reducing the time that car manufacturers can enforce design patents on common aftermarket parts, like side mirrors and bumpers.”

The coalition includes the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA), AutoZone, and LKQ Corporation. The SMART Act has been backed by the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety Coalition, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), Auto Care Association, RetireSafe, AARP and more.

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