Getting right to repair in place on both sides of the border has taken a big step forward in recent weeks.
During Industry Week, it was announced that the REPAIR Act in the U.S. was sent for markup and eventually voted from a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee to a full committee for review — the farthest right to repair efforts have gone in that country.
Members of the Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce, of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued no objection to act to push it forward, clearing a major hurdle.
“We are grateful to the subcommittee for recognizing the intent behind this legislation and agreeing to report the REPAIR Act to the full committee,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of Auto Care Association. “I am grateful to Congressman Neal Dunn, Congressman Brendan Boyle, Congressman Warren Davidson and the only repair shop owner in Congress, Congresswoman Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, along with the other 46 bipartisan cosponsors, for their continued efforts to make the REPAIR Act a reality.”
MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers also applauded the decision, noting in an announcement of its own that the vote out of subcommittee was a must for vehicle consumers, repair shops, parts suppliers and manufacturers.
“Advances in technology are making it easier to raise barriers between consumers and needed information to repair their vehicles. It has become clear that Congress must act,” its statement said.
CAR Coalition executive director Justin Rzepka also praised the move.
“It’s tremendous to see bipartisan support for expanding vehicle owners’ right to repair,” he said in a statement. “Today’s markup and approval of the REPAIR Act demonstrates the clear desire of Congress to put consumers first. We thank the members of the Energy and Commerce Committee for advancing this important legislation and look forward to seeing the bill move forward.”
Now, the REPAIR Act will move to consideration by the full Energy and Commerce Committee. Other stakeholders have brought forward recommendations to alter the current bill. All three groups mentioned have stated they will work with committee members, members of congress and other stakeholders to help further ensure the legislation will continue to progress through Congress.
“While today’s action is a testament to the hard work of our industry’s advocacy of preserving safe, affordable, and accessible vehicle repair, it is also just the beginning of the legislative process,” Hanvey said. “As this fight now moves to the full Committee on Energy and Commerce, I encourage our members to remain diligent with outreach to elected officials to ensure they know that your business depends on the REPAIR Act becoming law.”
On October 18, the House of Commons unanimously passed Bill C-244, which proposes amendments to the Copyright Act that would give Canadians the right to access their data for the purposes of diagnosis, maintenance or repair of certain types of products, including the vehicles they own.
A statement from AIA Canada noted more work is to be done but this is the starting point to achieving full right to repair legislation in Canada.
“Bill C-244 is a step in the right direction when it comes to levelling the playing field for service and repair of consumer goods,” the group said. “This is why we are continuing to work with the federal government as the Bill now moves to the Senate for further study, to urge its swift passing into law.”
Now the ball is in the court of the federal government, AIA Canada added. “The federal government must proceed with a review on the Right to Repair (as promised in Budget 2023) and go further to introduce standalone legislation for vehicles, which will be needed to help reinforce a manufacturer’s requirement to allow access to diagnostic and repair information, which would address systemic issues around data ownership.”