The issue of right to repair was once again front and center this week as the White House convened policy and industry experts convened to discuss the impact of repair restrictions on consumers. The Biden administration has been focused on right to repair issues since 2021 when it issued a report calling on Congress to address repair restrictions, including for automobiles.
Since then, two bipartisan pieces of legislation aimed at expanding right to repair options for vehicle owners have been introduced in Congress. The CAR Coalition strongly supports these bills, the SMART (H.R. 1707) and REPAIR (H.R. 906) Acts, which are part of a growing trend of pro-consumer right to repair measures pending in Congress.
One of the featured experts in the White House discussion was Don Jones, a Senior Vice President in the Claims organization at Allstate, a CAR Coalition member. In his remarks, he thanked the Biden administration and the U.S. Congress for their consistent focus on unfair repair restrictions and consumer rights. He offered that the Allstate Claims team is on the front lines working with customers every day when disaster hits – whether that be a storm or auto accident – and explained why Allstate and the CAR Coalition are focused on finding solutions that help consumers. Jones said, “That’s why Allstate and our partners at the CAR Coalition support the SMART Act. This strongly bipartisan legislation would allow for the use or sale of matching replacement parts after two and a half years vs the current 15 years. Put simply, the bipartisan SMART Act will provide customers with increased options and choice – saving them money and potentially getting their vehicle repaired more quickly.” He added, “The REPAIR Act, another bill with broad bipartisan support, would promote consumer choice by allowing car owners to wirelessly access and share their own vehicle-generated data with independent repairers, and it would do so while establishing new safeguards for accessing vehicle-generated data.”
Today’s White House event is a welcome sign of the growing bipartisan support for enacting national right to repair protections. Nationwide, consumers want more affordable repair options – not less. As car repair prices continue to climb, bipartisan federal legislation, like the SMART and REPAIR Acts, would bring much-needed relief to American consumers and small businesses alike.