Congressional watchdog to study automotive ‘right to repair’ issues


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Authorities Accountability Office in the coming months will take a look at “ideal to mend” difficulties involving the automobile marketplace, the congressional watchdog verified Wednesday.

In an email to Automotive News, spokesman Chuck Youthful claimed the workplace acknowledged a request last week to research the matter and designs to commence the energy in about 6 months “when applicable staff comprehensive other do the job and turn into offered.”

The action comes just after Rep. Jan Schakowsky urged the GAO to take a look at “federal agencies’ attempts to make certain consumers’ ideal to repair” with regard to gentle-responsibility autos and vehicles.

The Illinois Democrat asked the GAO to review how federal businesses may well balance considerations these as “addressing cybersecurity risks that may possibly be linked with greater obtain to motor vehicle data and whether or not technology exists to assure the two data accessibility and cybersecurity protections,” according to a letter despatched June 6 to GAO Comptroller Typical Gene Dodaro.

Schakowsky also pressed the GAO to seem into the efficiency of the auto industry’s self-regulation and how it has retained tempo with advances in know-how as nicely as the competitiveness of the auto restore sector in the U.S.

The House lawmaker also questioned for recommendations to other federal agencies to ensure consumers’ suitable to repair service based on the GAO’s examine of the problem.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which signifies most significant automakers in the U.S., explained it welcomes the more study.

“Suitable now, most post-warranty function — 70 percent — is completed by the independent aftermarket,” the alliance said in a statement. “In fact, the [Federal Trade Commission] has cited the automotive field as a good illustration of the market operating well.”

Schakowsky, in the letter, argues a 2014 memorandum of comprehension concerning automakers and independent garages and shops “predated the use of telematics to wirelessly transmit car or truck details to brands.”

“The details transmitted to makers involves all those utilized for diagnostic and fix needs — perhaps undermining the industry’s self-regulation of appropriate to repair through the 2014 memorandum,” she wrote.

In February, U.S. Rep. Bobby Hurry, D-Sick., introduced a bill mandating that vehicle owners and independent restore shops have the exact same access to mend and routine maintenance equipment and info as automakers and their franchised dealerships.

Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., also have just about every launched suitable-to-maintenance legislation.

Rush’s bill is very similar to a controversial ballot measure in Massachusetts that was enacted by voters in 2020. The measure expands the current suitable-to-mend law and needs makers of automobiles offered in the condition to equip autos that use telematics methods with a standardized, open up-accessibility details system, starting with the 2022 model yr. It also provides automobile owners and unbiased maintenance shops access to authentic-time info from the telematics, this kind of as crash notifications, remote diagnostics and navigation.

In an ongoing legal struggle with Massachusetts Attorney Common Maura Healey, the alliance has argued that the state’s amended suitable to fix legislation conflicts with a number of federal regulations, poses cybersecurity and car safety hazards and sets an not possible timeline for compliance.

U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock is anticipated to situation a ruling on the circumstance by July 1.


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