The Tire Industry Association (TIA) says it is keeping up the fight for passage of right to repair legislation, testifying on March 8 in Maryland before the House Economic Matters Committee on House Bill 1193, which was introduced in February.
The bill, titled “Consumer Protection – Motor Vehicles – Right to Repair,” addresses the right to repair issue on the state level by requiring a manufacturer that sells motor vehicles with telematics systems to install an open data platform in certain motor vehicles.
The bill was introduced in the Maryland legislature on Feb. 10. TIA worked with Maryland Delegate Kevin Hornberger (R) and his staff to introduce the bill.
Six TIA tire dealer members in Maryland testified in support of the bill during the hearing. Overall, 35 of those testifying supported the legislation, and five opposed it. The Specialty Equipment Market Association, the Auto Care Association, LKQ Corp. and the Chesapeake Automotive Business Association were among the organizations that also testified in support.
“Right to repair remains a top priority for TIA members in Maryland and H.B. 1193 would provide for much-needed clarity and direction in vehicle repair,” said Roy Littlefield IV, vice president of government affairs for TIA. “Without legislation, Maryland vehicle owners will have fewer repair options, face longer wait times and pay higher prices when they repair their vehicle.”
TIA said it has been rallying industry support and organizing local members to encourage the passage of right to repair legislation in states and on the federal level.
In addition to Maryland, the association has supported efforts in Maine on a right to repair ballot initiative and in Massachusetts, where passed right to repair legislation after a lengthy legal delay could be implemented in June.
At the federal level, TIA supports right to repair legislation known as the REPAIR Act (H.R. 906). The bi-partisan legislation was reintroduced earlier this year by Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Fla.-02) and is co-sponsored by Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.-02), Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio-08), Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.-03), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.-18), Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.-15), Rep. Brittany Pettersen, (D-Colo.-07), and Rep. Tim Walberg, (R-Mich.-05).
Modern cars and trucks contain advanced technology that monitors or controls virtually every function of the vehicle including brakes, steering, airbags, fuel delivery, ignition, lubrication, theft prevention, emission controls and soon, tire pressure. Car and truck owners, as well as the facilities that repair these vehicles need full access to the information, parts and tools necessary to accurately diagnose, repair or re-program these systems.
“Our members who repair vehicles need access to the vehicle’s mechanical data, and the Maryland consumer should have the right to decide where that data goes,” Littlefield said.
TIA said it will continue to monitor the progress of H.B. 1193 and other right to repair efforts.