CAR Coalition

THE CHALLENGE

As vehicles continue to become more high-tech, auto manufacturers have made it more difficult to repair these vehicles. This is cutting out a host of different industries and businesses, creating a monopoly on vehicle repair, and ultimately driving up the cost of auto repair. To fix this, a federal solution in the form of right to repair legislation is needed to address the underlying issue of the lack of automotive right to repair.

THE SOLUTION

To address this challenge, Advocus helped form a coalition, the Consumer Access to Repair (CAR) Coalition, created from companies that cover many facets of vehicle repair including parts manufacturers, distributors, certification and safety organizations, retailers, insurance companies, and others. The CAR Coalition initiated an issue advocacy campaign focused on raising awareness of the issue and pursuing a federal solution to the automotive right to repair issue. The coalition organized meetings with members on key committees of jurisdiction and their staff to educate them on the issue, which led to the introduction of a bill. The Coalition also established a digital presence, solicited research papers and conducted online advertising.

THE OUTCOME

Once the REPAIR Act (H.R. 906) was introduced in February 2023, the coalition met with members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the committee of jurisdiction, as well as committee staff to gather more support for the bill and to advocate for it to be included in a future committee markup. The bill has made significant progress throughout 2023, obtaining 49 bipartisan cosponsors (24 Democrats and 25 Republicans). The REPAIR Act had a legislative hearing in Sept. 2023, and there was widespread consensus among Members of Congress that this bill was important to consumers and should be further considered. That happened in October, when the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data and Commerce marked up the REPAIR Act. Several amendments were considered to improve the bill, and at the end of its consideration the bill was approved unanimously by a voice vote to be considered by the full Committee.

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