The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Data, Innovation and Commerce advanced the REPAIR Act, H.R. 906, by voice vote on Nov. 2.
During the markup, lawmakers offered a series of amendments seeking to exclude commercial vehicles from the bill as well as strengthen language on cyber security, data privacy and intellectual property ownership. Ultimately all amendments were withdrawn, with Democrats and Republicans agreeing to work together to address all concerns before the bill moves to a full committee markup.
Of importance to NATSO members, Representatives Larry Bucshon (R-Indiana) and Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan) co-introduced an Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (ANS) that sought to codify the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed earlier this year between the Automotive Service Association, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation affirming a 2014 national agreement on automotive right to repair.
Rep. Dingell said that while she supports consumer right to repair, H.R. 906 is overly broad, undermines the security of consumer data and “seeks to address a problem that doesn’t exist.” The ANS was subsequently withdrawn.
Congressman Greg Pence (R-Indiana) offered and withdrew an amendment that would exclude commercial trucks from H.R. 906 and subsequently recommended a broader hearing on the right to repair issue with witnesses from each stakeholder industry, which includes independent repair shops, equipment makers, dealerships, parts suppliers and after-market part suppliers among others.
NATSO opposes efforts to codify the MOU, which excludes commercial vehicles and lacks an enforcement mechanism, both of which represent significant gaps in the industry’s need to access diagnostic and repair information. The MOU fundamentally undermines our industry’s basic need to access the critical diagnostic information required to repair commercial motor vehicles.
H.R. 906 Sponsor Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Florida) reaffirmed that he did not support the MOU “that some are offering as an equitable alternative.” In an editorial published earlier this year in The Hill, Rep. Dunn said the MOU “should be seen as a subtle and disguised attempt to dissuade you from recognizing the importance of the REPAIR Act.”
Subcommittee Chairman Gus Bilirakis (R-Florida) offered and withdrew an amendment to exclude autonomous vehicle from H.R. 906 and urged subcommittee members to work together to address all concerns, referencing that every lawmaker has independent shop repair facilities in their districts.
H.R. 906 currently has 46 co-sponsors, and NATSO will continue to engage on this issue.
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