In what could be seen as a rare occurrence of bipartisanship in the U.S. House of Representatives, representatives on both sides of the aisle came together earlier this month to reintroduce the federal “Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair Act” (a/k/a the “REPAIR Act”). As reported in Automotive News, the proposed legislation would require, among other things, that motor vehicle manufacturers make available to vehicle owners and independent repair shops the same repair and maintenance tools that the manufacturers make available to their franchised dealers.[1]

And, in what could be seen as an even rarer case of “bipartisanship,” trade groups for both manufacturers and dealers oppose the proposed legislation.

What compels these groups to acquaint themselves with “strange bedfellows”? Well, contrary to the motivation animating Shakespeare’s famous observation, it’s to avoid “misery.”[2] But misery, apparently, is in the eye of the beholder.

The sponsoring legislators said earlier this month that the REPAIR Act would give options to consumers, particularly those in rural areas, and would promote competition.[3]

In opposition to last year’s iteration of the REPAIR Act, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation stated that automotive manufacturers already make available all information needed to repair and diagnose a vehicle.[4] In addition, the Alliance’s President and CEO, John Bozzella, cited cybersecurity concerns in an October 3, 2022 letter to the Washington Post.[5] The Alliance has also opposed similar state legislation in Massachusetts, citing, among other issues, conflicts with federal laws and vehicle safety risks,[6] and Maine, citing a “monetizable data grab from national aftermarket parts manufacturers[.]”[7]

For its part, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), in addressing the prior version of the proposed legislation in December 2022, pointed to not only privacy, data security, and vehicle safety risks, but also highlighted the “unfair” promotion of the interests of “aftermarket companies” whose access to automakers’ proprietary information could allow them to reverse engineer genuine OEM parts.[8]

Some have questioned whether automakers should continue to fight right-to-repair legislation. As Automotive News reported, the conclusion from a recent research study conducted by an industry consultant found, in short, that “[r]ight to repair statistically has no impact” on whether a customer would switch from a dealer to an independent repair facility or vice-versa.[9] But, as the Alliance and NADA have pointed out, that is far from the only issue that right-to-repair legislation raises. 

As more states may follow the lead of Massachusetts and Maine, we would be happy to discuss with you issues surrounding proposed right-to-repair legislation.

[1] Audrey LaForest, Federal ‘right-to-repair' bill reintroduced in House, Automotive News (Feb. 10, 2023).

[2] William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act 2, Scene 2.

[3] Press Release, Congressman Dunn: “Automobile Owners Deserve Options” (Feb. 10, 2023),

[4] Audrey LaForest, What's at stake for auto industry in new U.S. right to repair bill, Automotive News (Feb. 4, 2022) (hereafter, “LaForest 2022”).

[5] John Bozella, Right to repair already exists, Letter to Washington Post (Oct. 3, 2022).

[6] LaForest 2022. 

[7] Maddie Stone, A Massachusetts law protects the right to repair your own car. Automakers are suing., The Grist (Jan. 11, 2023).

[8] NADA, So-Called “Right to Repair” Bill Raises Serious Privacy, Security and Safety Issues for Consumers,
(Dec. 5, 2022), https://www.nada.org/legislative/so-called-right-repair-bill-raises-serious-privacy-security-and-safety-issues-consumers

[9] Dan Shine, Research: Efforts to stop right to repair futile, Automotive News (Sep. 1, 2022).

Motor Vehicle Group

BFKN’s Motor Vehicle Group works with automotive, truck, and powersports manufacturers across the country and around the world to implement market representation and development initiatives, litigate protests and lawsuits, and develop effective dealer agreements, standards, and policies. Our attorneys are knowledgeable and creative strategic partners. Whether litigating, counseling, or negotiating transactions on behalf of our clients, we bring to the table extensive in-depth knowledge of the motor vehicle industry and exceptional legal ability, a combination that uniquely positions us to help our clients efficiently and effectively solve difficult problems and achieve their business objectives.

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