Why ASA Opposes Right To Repair LegislationPosted 12/15/2004
By Geralynn Kottschade, AAM, Chairman
When I traveled to Washington, D.C., in April 2002 for ASA's annual convention, I was excited to meet our nation's leaders and see old friends.
We gathered one morning to set out for Capitol Hill with Right to Repair legislation on our minds. I was familiar with Right to Repair, as was my husband, Jerry. We have a collision repair shop, and we were frustrated with having to drive vehicles to the metro area to have airbag lights reset.
One of our meetings was with the late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone of my state of Minnesota. The senator was known for being a fighter for the little guy; he understood the importance of this legislation and how if something didn't change, the small business owner could be out of business.
As we left his office he agreed to sponsor the bill. At record speed, Wellstone's office set up a press conference at Bonfe's Auto Service in St. Paul, where ASA and AASP-Minnesota shared their concerns and experiences. At that time, he made it very clear to me the best solution is to reach an agreement with the automakers. Legislation would be difficult, could create major implementation problems, and he clearly understood trade secret and proprietary information concerns.
Next, we prepared to testify in front of U.S. Sen. Dorgan's Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs of the Senate Commerce Committee. We also set up a demonstration near the U.S. Capitol to show the press and congressional staff members how we were being locked out. It was a grand show. But again, at the end of the day, the Senate Commerce Committee sent the same message: Automakers and repairers need to make an agreement and live by it. If promises are not kept, come back to the Senate and we will move the legislation. A promise made by Senator Dorgan.
Several meetings later, a service information letter was drafted and delivered to ASA's mechanical and collision operations committees. After their approval, the board approved the ASA-Automaker agreement.
I know in my heart we did the right thing. I can see it daily in my business. We subscribe to third-party information providers and purchased a scan tool; the Internet is now in our mechanical bay and the OEM Web sites are indexed. We've saved hundreds of dollars in diagnostic time and avoided costly comebacks. If a check engine light comes in after a loss, I can have a printout available in no time. Customers can carry this information to their technician or I can submit it to the insurance company; no one else has to finish a repair I started.
In 1971, when we hung out our shingle, we made a promise to ourselves, our customers and employees to be a complete collision repair center - and the ASA agreement with the automakers has helped us do that. Please visit ASA's legislative site, www.TakingTheHill.com, and review the documents in the Information Availability section. You can read about the agreement, access OEM service information Web sites and learn about the NASTF complaint process.
ASA's first priority was to solve a problem. Through the cooperation of the automobile manufacturers, it has been solved. Now we have a responsibility to uphold ASA's word - that successful implementation of the agreement would make the pending and any future legislation unnecessary. Remaining true to our word and maintaining the trust we've established with the automakers, we must oppose the legislation.
AutoInc. Web Site |
ASA Web Site |
U.S. Congress Continues to Expand Its Review of Insurance Regulations |
"How's Your Business?" |
CARS 2004 Recap |
Nace 2004 Recap |
Stealing from Your Competition |
Guest Editorial |
Tech to Tech |
Tech Tips |
Around ASA |
Shop Profile |
Net Worth |
Stat Corner |
Copyright (c) 1996-2011. Automotive Service Association®. All rights reserved.