Contact: Sandy Bass-Cors
M-F, 9 to 6 EST


(Monday, May 14, 2007. Alexandria, VA): "Once again, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) has issued misleading statements regarding The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act in Congress and in the states. ASA's latest misinformation is regarding Florida's Right to Repair Act, SB 2890," stated David Parde, president, Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE).

ASA issued a May 9, 2007, press release 'spinning' the latest developments on SB 2890, making it read as if the bill died in the Committee due to lack of interest. "Nothing could be further from the truth. The Florida State Legislature only meets 60 days a year and the Right to Repair Act was introduced late in the session. Florida went Sine Die (adjourned for the year) and that's the only reason the bill didn't make through the Committee.

"In addition to writing the press release to make it sound as if lack of interest or that ASA killed the bill, ASA continue to state that the state bills, including Florida's, would 'rely on the Florida court system to assist repairers in acquiring automotive service information.' This is not only ridiculous, but it alleges that the car companies have no plans to comply with the Right to Repair Act, therefore, forcing the aftermarket and motoring consumers to work through the courts.

"If the car companies comply with the Right to Repair Act, which will be the law of either the state it passed in or in Congress, then no one will have to rely on any courts. So, unless the car companies are planning to break the law, there should not be any problems for the aftermarket.

"Furthermore, ASA states the Right to Repair Act 'would have required {in Florida} the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to adopt rules setting forth a method by which a manufacturer of motor vehicles must provide certain information'. CARE asks, what's wrong with that? It was California's SB 1146 in 2000 which gave both the California and national aftermarket the ability to fully repair the emissions system. Senate Bill 1146 paved the way for the U.S. EPA to regulate that the car companies had to release all of their emissions information nationwide by the end of Spring 2003.

"It's interesting that ASA is the only aftermarket association in the country which opposes the passage of the Right to Repair Act. Although ASA talks the talk of NASTF providing all the necessary and complete repair information, it doesn't walk the walk. Steve Brotherton, an ASA member who testified last year in Congress in opposition to the bill and in favor of NASTF, recently stated on the IATN site that 'NASTF doesn't work and never will.'

"In a 2006 poll conducted by the national, non-partisan 'The Tarrance Group' and 'Lake Research Partners', of 800 randomly chosen owners or managers of automotive aftermarket businesses, the following information is available: ASA represents less than 10 percent of the automotive aftermarket, yet 87 percent of its membership supports passage of the Right to Repair Act. The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) supports passage by 90 percent, and 88 percent of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association's membership supports passage. ASA's opposition to passage of The Right to Repair Act is clearly not driven by its membership, but only by its leadership.

"It's important to remember that the so-called agreement between ASA and the car company associations is not legally binding and is simply a promise from associations to release repair information. It has no enforcement or oversight and is thereby has no mechanism to keep the car companies' feet to the fire. Since the alleged agreement, independent repair technicians still have diagnostic tools, despite investing thousands of dollars, that lag three years behind in updates. And, as one aftermarket technician stated, he's continuously put into another site when logging onto a car company website.

"If the car companies are sincere about releasing 'all' of the necessary repair information, then they shouldn't be concerned with Right to Repair legislation, which codifies the 'promises' they made in the alleged ASA agreement.

CARE urges all aftermarket technicians, whether or not they are ASA or not, to contact us for factual information," concluded Parde.