The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce heard testimony from the Automotive Service Association (ASA) Board of Directors Chairman Scott Benavidez, about the agreement reached between ASA, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation (AAI), and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS).
The agreement claims to ensure independent repair facilities will continue to have access to the information needed to diagnose and repair issues with their customers' vehicles.
In his opening remarking he expressed appreciation for U.S. Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Darren Soto (D-FL) for forming the bipartisan Vehicle Data Caucus, which helped bring ASA, SCRS, and AAI together for talks that ultimately resulted in the Right-to-Repair Act.
The goal of the agreement is to resolve concerns regarding the impact of new technologies on accessibility of important data. Additionally, it establishes a Vehicle Data Access Panel and Data Access Working Group to address gaps in data access, accounts for future technologies, and encourages collaboration on training.
According to Benavidez, "the agreement ASA reached with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation and SCRS nullifies the need for the REPAIR Act."
Some would disagree, though, and see the REPAIR Act as a more binding form of the same goal of ensuring independent repair shops have access to the information they need. In her testimony with the same subcommittee, industry veteran Kathleen Callahan shared the need for the REPAIR Act and the negative economic impacts that could occur if it weren't passed.
"I'm not willing to risk my business and its future on a handshake agreement, where [automakers] could back out at any time," Callahan said in her testimony.
After the hearing, Benavidez thanked Congress for their time and for the value that elected officials have put on ASA's perspective.