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Friday May 19

ASA Opposes Right to Repair Act at House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Hearing

The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection held another hearing on May 17 to further discuss H.R. 2048, the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act. This legislation seeks to have the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) responsible for service information in the automotive repair industry.

During questions by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of the subcommittee, the FTC admitted it has very limited knowledge or background in the automotive repair industry and lacked the resources to perform this particular task.

At the hearing, Deborah Platt Majoras, chairman of the FTC, testified that the FTC "continues to believe that the best approach to resolve particular disputes between the parties, including the determination of the composition of any governing board (NASTF), should be decided and implemented by industry participants rather than the government. Such an approach is preferable because the parties' full faith in the board is imperative for it to accomplish the goals of a self-regulatory process, and that full faith would best be obtained by consensus in determining its composition."

In response to further questions by the subcommittee, Majoras responded that of the 500 automotive complaints to the FTC in 2006, not one involved automotive service information.

Many of the subcommittee representatives present aggressively questioned the panelists, expressing concern over the H.R. 2048 legislation. Specifically, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said he finds that H.R. 2048 is merely a "solution in search of a problem."

Other panelists testifying included Nancie G. Marzulla on behalf of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (C.A.R.E.); Aaron Lowe, vice president of government affairs, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA); Michael J. Stanton, vice president of government and international affairs, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance); and Charles G. Gorman, chairman, National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF).

Gorman testified that NASTF sees progress being made by this voluntary automotive industry organization. Ron Pyle, president of the Automotive Service Association (ASA), serves on the NASTF executive committee.

ASA opposes H.R. 2048. Visit ASA's legislative Web site, www.TakingTheHill.com, to send a letter asking your congressman to oppose H.R. 2048.

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