Aaron Lowe, vice president, government affairs at the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), testified last Thursday in New Jersey at a hearing on Right to Repair legislation that is under consideration in the state assembly. The bill introduced by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-N.J., would require that car companies make available to independent repair shops the same information and tools that they make available to their franchised dealers.
At the hearing, Assemblyman Gusciora said, “This bill frees up car owners to choose between their auto dealer and independent service shops to repair their vehicles. Not only does it foster competitive car repair pricing, but it gives consumers the choice where they will bring their cars for servicing. It’s a win-win for car owners and mom-and-pop service stations who want to stay in business.”
Lowe, also testifying on behalf of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE), thanked Assemblyman Gusciora for the introduction of the Right to Repair legislation, which is important both to the independent repair aftermarket and to consumers. Lowe further pointed to the strong support which right to repair received in Massachusetts, where voters approved a referendum by a historic 85 to 15 percent margin.
Lowe also informed the committee that we are currently in negotiations with the vehicle manufacturers regarding a national agreement on Right to Repair, stating, “Our hope is that these discussions will lead to a national solution on Right to Repair, which we think would be preferential over a state-by-state solution. Therefore, while AAIA and CARE fully support the intention of this legislation, we ask that the legislature hold off consideration of this legislation until we can determine if a national agreement on Right to Repair can be reached. We have established a deadline of the end of July to make this happen. Should our negotiations fail to be successful, we will return to this committee and requires that action be taken such that New Jersey has a Right to Repair law in place that is similar in scope to the action undertaken in Massachusetts.”