On July 18, Automotive Service Association (ASA) Board of Directors Chairman Scott Benavidez, who is also owner of Mr. B's Paint & Body Shop Inc., in Albuquerque, testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.
During the hearing, titled “Is There a Right to Repair?,” Benavidez explained how the agreement ASA reached with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation (AAI) ensures independent repair facilities will continue to enjoy access to the information needed to diagnose and repair issues with their customers’ vehicles. He remarked in his opening statement:
“ASA has been a steadfast advocate for right-to-repair principles – the right of car owners and independent repair shops to access vehicle service information needed to diagnose and repair vehicles – for decades. We take this unequivocal stance because our members are on the front lines of the vehicle data access issue and have been very clear: we want to have access to the data necessary to repair our customers’ vehicles… That’s why, last week, ASA proudly announced it had reached a landmark agreement with automakers that ensures independent repair shops can diagnose and repair their customers’ vehicles without hindrance from telematics nor any other innovation.”
Mr. Benavidez also shared ASA’s concerns that the SMART Act – which would allow aftermarket manufacturers to produce and sell parts of similar appearance 30 months after the OEM part enters the market and do so without violating patent law – lacks quality and safety standards for aftermarket replacement parts. He cautioned:
“We can and should have a competitive marketplace that doesn’t compromise quality or safety. [Some Insurers] [d]eciding to only cover the cheapest option without understanding implications for quality leaves collision shops and their customers in a tough position…[M]ore imported and other crash parts in the marketplace with limited quality standards gives insurance companies even more power to mandate that cheaper parts that may or may not meet quality expectations be installed, while leaving car owners and repairers to suffer the consequences.”
ASA appreciates Chairman Issa (R-Calif.) for providing ASA the opportunity to share the perspective of independent automotive repair shops before the subcommittee and for the thoughtful comments from the subcommittee members.
ASA is the largest and oldest national organization committed to protecting the automotive repair industry with ONE VOICE. Our members own and operate automotive mechanical and collision repair facilities responsible for the majority of all, post warranty, repair services in the United States. ASA advocates for the interests of its members and their customers in Washington, D.C. The education, resources, and services ASA provides empowers its members in all 50 states to remain trusted stewards of mobility in their communities. www.ASAShop.org