The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality is a national, nonprofit organization representing major companies in the $200 billion-a-year, five million people-strong Automotive Aftermarket. CARE’s underlying role is to ensure that consumers nationwide receive safe, affordable and convenient vehicle repair and service.
CARE was formed in April 1991, by a national coalition of aftermarket companies to successfully combat a pro-monopoly, anti-competition, anti-consumer congressional bill known as The Design Innovation and Technology Act of 1991, HR 1790.
A sample of members include NAPA, Midas, CARQUEST, AutoZone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts and Bridgestone-Firestone and thousands of independent small businesses. CARE represents these well known automotive part stores as well as independent repair shops, "do it yourself" stores and distributors. CARE membership is comprised of approximately 20,058 vehicle repair facilities and 14,762 auto supply and accessory retail locations nationwide.
In addition, CARE represents many car care interests for groups such as car enthusiasts, hobbyists, owners of older cars, and thousands of "mom and pop" shops.
CARE membership represents distributors, rebuilders, jobbers and retailers for parts and service of "Motor Vehicles" which include: automobiles, light and heavy duty trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and off-road vehicles such as agricultural and construction equipment, marine engines, small and stationary engines, all-terrain vehicles and lawn-mowers.
Other businesses sell equipment, chemicals, accessories, body repair supplies and products that enhance vehicles such as polish and paint.
CARE's mission is to continue the fight for The Vehicle Owner's Bill of Rights in Congress and in the State Legislatures.
Vehicle Owner's Bill of Rights
There is a sensible push in Congress to ensure that independent parts dealers, auto shops, and do-it-yourselfers be provided access to the necessary technical information to diagnose and repair later-model cars and light trucks.
Repair shops, parts dealers, and consumers are not trying to run down manufacturers' trade secrets or other proprietary information. They just want to stay up to date and safely on the road.
Consumers will be the big losers if independent shops are driven out of business or forced to send work to their competitors.
AAA is supporting The Motor Vehicle Owner's Right to Repair Act because the club believes it will preserve motorists' freedom to choose who repairs their vehicles, where and how.
While car makers are federally mandated to provide independent repair shops and third-party tool makers with information for emissions-related fixes, there is currently no mandate to provide non-emissions-related information.
The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act is a much needed piece of legislation that will introduce some long overdue competition to the service and repair of consumers’ vehicles.
Bill Cahill, owner of BC Auto Repair in Randolph, agrees that automakers are sharing more information. "I will admit on the surface, they appear to be starting to comply," he said. But Cahill said he can't get complete technical information for many vehicles, and only a federal law will change that. "It will hold their feet to the fire," Cahill said.
Auto industry officials say that between offering online access to their manuals and releasing computer codes, independent mechanics have little to complain about. "Today, you can take your car to any independent repair shop," said Mark Saxonberg, service technology manager at Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. "They can get any information that they need to fix the car at a reasonable cost."