Aftermarket associations laud Biden right to repair executive order

by | Jul 12, 2021 | 0 comments

Key aftermarket associations in the U.S. are praising the Biden Administration for introducing an executive order designed to push right to repair mandates forward.

The Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), and the Auto Care Association all applauded U.S. President Biden’s executive order directing the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish new rules making it easier and cheaper for consumers to repair items they own – including their vehicles.

As a strong advocate for access to consumer choice and vehicle data in the automotive aftermarket, AASA and MEMA thanked the U.S President for addressing this critical issue.

Prior to the release of the order, the Auto Care Association also indicated its support for the initiative.

“Auto Care Association was pleased that the Administration recognizes the importance of right to repair to ensuring consumer have access to a competitive repair market,” reads as statement from the association.

“Unlike many industries, the aftermarket has been fortunate to have made major progress in the right to repair efforts highlighted by the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Auto Care Association, the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) and the vehicle manufacturers in 2014, and that ensure access to the repair information, tools and software needed to repair late model vehicles. Notwithstanding the progress, manufacturers continue to place barriers in the way of independent repair shops being able to service vehicles,” continued the Auto Care Association statement.

“It is heartening to see that the right to repair efforts that Auto Care Association has been pressing for over the last two decades are now gaining traction in the Federal government,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “We urge the Administration and the FTC to take strong actions in order to reduce anti-competitive barriers to repair for our industry so that we can continue to service our customer’s vehicles.”

The executive order includes 72 specific initiatives including the requirement that the Federal Trade Commission initiate a rulemaking on repair and maintenance. 

AASA and MEMA have been advocating on behalf of the industry in Washington and urging the administration and Congress to act on this issue, including additional legislative direction for statutory authority. 
 
“We look forward to working with the FTC to protect safe, affordable and equitable motor vehicle repair for American consumers and applaud the president for taking action,” commented Paul McCarthy, AASA President. “Consumer choice and competitive markets are essential to the success of the automotive aftermarket and today’s executive order make it a federal priority.”  
 
“We applaud the president for taking this step, which will help ensure safe and affordable transportation for consumers over the life of a vehicle,” commented MEMA’s CEO Bill Long.

“The industry must align behind repairabilty, as it supports brand and resale values, economic equity, and customer satisfaction over the lifetime of a U.S vehicle fleet that averages over 12 years old. We pledge to work closely with the administration, Congress, and all industry stakeholders to address these issues.” 

“I applaud the President’s executive order. This paves the path for a bright future for the entire automotive aftermarket,” commented Eric Sills, AASA Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Motor Products, Inc.  

“More importantly, without these rules, American consumers would have limited repair options. Through this executive order, the administration has made a strong statement that consumer access to quality vehicle repair must be protected.”   
 
In May 2021, the FTC submitted a report to Congress identifying anti-competitive repair restrictions, parts limitations, and inaccessible software specially in the vehicle manufacturing and mobile phone repair and maintenance.

The report notes that, “there is scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions.”

The FTC findings are in lock step with what AASA and MEMA have been advocating for on behalf of the aftermarket.  

The executive order includes vehicle manufacturing, as well as other consumer and trade products such as farm equipment, cell phones, and other consumer electronics.  

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