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ASA testifies against Connecticut Right to Repair bill

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Feb. 24, 2011 — The Automotive Service Association (ASA) this week testified before the Connecticut General Assembly’s law committee to oppose another version of the Right to Repair Act.

Senate Bill 160, introduced by Sen. Martin Looney, D-Conn., would require auto manufacturers to make vehicle diagnostic codes available for purchase by all mechanics.

Bob Redding, ASA’s Washington, D.C., representative, said during testimony that prior statements from the Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau, made before the U.S. Congress, have shown that legislation is not needed address service information issues.

“In the overwhelming majority of repairs, independent repair shops are going to the same information sources they have used in the past, third-party providers,” Redding said. “We have an additional option for repairers today, automaker websites. Some independents are choosing to drop their third-party information subscriptions and opt for using automaker sites only. Having a choice for service information is good for our industry.”

He also argued that the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) serves to resolve issues involving service information, tools and training. In 2008, the voluntary organization, which ASA and other groups have marketed heavily, received only 44 service information requests out of 500 million post-warranty repairs nationwide, Redding said. In 2009 it received 45 requests and last year it received 65. No requests were from Connecticut repairers, he said.

Redding suggested the assembly look into other ways to help the collision repair industry.

“With the increased federal research dollars in clean fuel and clean engine technologies, our repair technicians will need additional, more frequent training,” he said. “If you want to help our shops, put more resources in state vocational programs that encourage young people to enter our industry and equip them with the skills they need to succeed.”

To read Redding’s full testimony, go to ASA’s legislative website, takingthehill.org.
 

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