Commission Chair: Right to Repair is a Priority
May 20, 2022—A House Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on May 18 revealed that Right to Repair, as it pertains to the automotive industry, continues to be a topic of importance for legislatures and regulators alike.
According to a report from the Car Coalition Federal Trade Commission, Chairwoman Lina Khan stated that getting rid of illegal repair restrictions is of high priority.
“The growing digitization just gives additional tools and levers for … auto manufacturers to be manipulating what types of repairs can and cannot occur." Khan said in the hearing.
The Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act and the Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act are two bipartisan bills aimed at combatting patent abuse by automakers and unfair data restrictions. Both of these acts currently sit before Congress with support from 78 percent of voters who own vehicles across the nation.
Khan also shared in the hearing that modern vehicle repairs oftentimes require special tools and parts that are not easy to get ahold of. Additionally, there is the need of diagnostic software.
Overall, she concurred that restrictions to this access “have made consumer products more difficult to fix and maintain.”