Auto Service World
News   March 21, 2024   by Adam Malik

Right to repair gets U.S. government agency support

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MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers has received significant support from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in its push for consumer rights in vehicle repair.

The federal agencies have submitted their backing to the U.S Copyright Office, endorsing MEMA’s call for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This proposed change would allow vehicle owners to access and share their car’s telematics data with third-party repair services.

According to the DOJ and FTC, allowing consumers to view and share their vehicle’s telematics data presents minimal risk to copyright holders and does not elevate cybersecurity threats. This stance aligns with MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers’ argument that the modern automotive repair industry, increasingly reliant on software, should not restrict vehicle owners’ choices due to data access limitations.

The agencies emphasized that the existing barriers on non-copyrightable telematics data could unfairly limit competition in the market. This could prevent vehicle owners from sharing crucial operational data with independent parts manufacturers and repair services, creating a “competitively harmful bottleneck.”

Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, praised the work of his group and its members in reaching the goal.

“Their conclusion supports our point that consumers will benefit from having more repair options and that they can utilize these options in a cybersecure way,” he added. “This goal should guide our policymaking efforts.”

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