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Letter to the editor: Fight costs of auto repair

By KATHLEEN SCHMATZ
Auto Aftermarket Industry Association
Bethesda
Md.

Editor:

Skyrocketing fuel prices have impacted the cost of owning and operating a vehicle, and as the cost of vehicle ownership soars, the need for Right to Repair legislation has become more critical in order to protect consumers from the added costs that would be created by a vehicle repair monopoly.

Vehicle technology is becoming increasingly complex with virtually every system either monitored or controlled by computers. Without full access to complete and accurate repair information from the car companies, neighborhood shops will not be able to compete, creating a repair monopoly where the affordable and convenient repairs currently available to car owners are sacrificed to increase profits for the car companies.

The cost to consumers when they can only have their car repaired at the dealership is estimated to be as much as 25 percent higher with labor charges alone, according to a study comparing dealer repair tags with those of an independent service center.

Without right to repair legislation, many motorists may forgo important vehicle repairs due to higher dealer repair costs. This situation would be exacerbated if there is no dealership in the vicinity, dramatically increasing the cost of fuel and the travel time.

To ensure that your neighborhood repair shop has the same access to safety alerts and repair information as the new car dealer network, Congress introduced the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act (H.R. 2694). They understand that if motorists are forced back to the dealer for service and repairs, particularly if there is no dealership in their area, convenient and affordable auto repair will become a thing of the past.

Right to Repair merely seeks to restore a system that has been in place since the invention of the automobile. Clearly, using advances in technology to deny consumers their right to choose where they have their car repaired is a misuse of these computers and certainly not in the consumer's best interest.

Please send a letter to each of your congressional representatives, urging them to support the Right to Repair Act (H.R. 2694) by adding their names to the growing list of co-sponsors.




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