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You Have The Right To Decide Who Repairs Your New Car

Right To Repair
Posted May 13 2009 06:53 PM by Johnny Hunkins 
Filed under: Hard Driving

The 2010 Camaro SS

A new bill has been introduced in Congress that would force manufacturers to provide diagnostic access to your new Camaro, and other cars. We need to get on board!


Cars like the new 2010 Camaro are extremely sophisticated. With safety, emissions, and performance goals all set equally high, it takes huge resources to develop the technology to bring products like the Camaro to market. This technology is an investment that manufacturers protect through extremely vigorous efforts. As cars become more sophisticated, efforts to thwart outside entities from getting inside the vehicle systems has become more sophisticated. The result is that we’re now at the point where you can no longer work on your new car. In fact, things are so bad, even established repair facilities—those other than official new car dealerships—are unable to work on them.

I don’t have to tell you how bad that is for enthusiasts of new performers—cars like the 2010 Camaro SS I’m sitting in. In spite of the good face GM, Ford, Chrysler, and others put on at the SEMA trade show—where there is the appearance of cooperation with aftermarket manufacturers—the reality is that you’re on your own, bub. I wish I could count the number of times well-established aftermarket manufacturers have complained to me they are unable to bring to market diagnostic equipment, or reliable and safe performance parts for this very reason. Notwithstanding, there is help on the way, in the form of the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 2057), which gained two more important co-sponsors this week. (Reps. Howard Berman [D-CA] and Yvette Clarke [D-NY] have joined growing list.) 

The Act is being actively supported by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), and was introduced to the 111th Congress by Reps. Towns (D-NY), Eshoo (D-CA) and Miller (D-CA). The idea behind the bill is to ensure that car owners, not car companies and dealers, are in the driver’s seat when it comes to where, and by whom vehicle repairs are performed. At issue in particular is the encrypted and proprietary nature of on-board vehicle diagnostic systems and their software components, which are a closely guarded secret. The Right To Repair Act would force manufacturers to provide that diagnostic software access equally to everyone.

I urge you to visit www.rightorepair.org and sign the petition. You’ll be glad you did!



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