Legislators Challenge Vehicle Data-Access ‘Double Standard’

Legislators Challenge Vehicle Data-Access ‘Double Standard’

Several Democrats penned a letter to NHTSA outlining concerns that NHTSA’s latest guidance may unfairly harm independent repairers.

Democrats in Congress are warning that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) proposed guidance for implementation of Massachusetts’ Data Access Law conflicts with the Biden administration’s pledged support for Right to Repair, the CAR Coalition reported.

As reported by POLITICO, former auto repair shop owner and REPAIR and SMART Act co-sponsor Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez (D-WA) joined Reps. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) and Jared Golden (D-ME) in sending a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and NHTSA Administrator Sophie Shulman outlining concerns that NHTSA’s latest guidance may unfairly harm independent repairers.

Citing differences in remote-data access, the lawmakers’ letter warns that NHTSA’s current guidance creates a “double standard” between automaker repair networks and independent repair businesses that may “entrench manufacturers’ dominance in the repair market in the long run … [and] harm competition.”

Anticompetitive practices, like data-access restrictions and design-patent misuse, put independent repair shops at an unfair disadvantage and leave consumers footing higher repair bills.

“Our constituents understand the importance of supporting small businesses and preserving their right to repair the vehicles they own,” Gluesenkamp Perez, Auchincloss and Golden said in a joint statement. “ … Without competition from independent repair shops, auto manufacturers have no incentive to price repair parts competitively.”

Let your member of Congress know to advance these key pieces of legislation by writing them a letter here.

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