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Group Calls for Expanded Consumer Choice

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July 1, 2020—The Consumer Access to Repair (CAR) Coalition formally launched today by calling on Congress to explore expanded consumer choice over their personal vehicle data, according to a press release. The CAR Coalition is a group of independent automotive parts and repair companies, associations and insurers dedicated to preserving and protecting consumer choice, transparency, and affordability in the post collision repair market. 

In a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the CAR Coalition urged Congress to examine issues related to secure and transparent ways to expand consumer choice over vehicle data. The letter follows a June 3, 2020 letter from OEMs  to impose a five-year federal preemption on any state taking action on the sharing of telematics data. The CAR Coalition is opposed to any federal preemption and is instead asking Congress to review the relevant issues and protect consumer choices.

 The letter reads in part: 

“Consumer choice/control and safety are not and should not be considered mutually exclusive. By controlling access to their vehicle-generated data, consumers will be better positioned to protect their private information. Allowing an OEM exclusive control access and sharing of this data will inhibit consumer choice and allow it to potentially exploit the data for its own enrichment through targeted advertising, promoting their own products and services, or even selling it.” 

It continues: 

“Consumers can also see tremendous cost-savings through choosing realtime data sharing. While independent repair shops and parts manufacturers routinely access vehicle data during a repair or claim, the data being generated in real-time have enormous consumer benefits if they can be shared with these entities in the same way they are being shared with the OEM. Relaying real-time diagnostics and operational data to a repair shop will allow a consumer to be alerted that a vehicle is in need of a checkup or replacement parts before it suffers a breakdown or malfunction.” 

The CAR Coalition stands ready to work with Congress to hold an appropriate hearing on this and other matters related to consumer choice and access in the post-collision repair process. In addition to ensuring consumer access to data, the CAR Coalition seeks to advance additional policy solutions that will address the rising cost of automotive collision repair for consumers. The Coalition will be highlighting automotive design patent abuses and will work to prevent steering techniques and first notice of loss from OEMs, which directs consumers to dealers first, limiting repair choices.

 

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