ASA-Automaker Agreement Reaches MilestonePosted 11/19/2007
By Robert L. Redding, Jr.
Top officials from the Automotive Service Association and the automaker trade associations met recently in Washington, D.C., to recognize the five-year anniversary of the ASA-Automaker Service Information Agreement. Also part of the recognition were key congressional leaders involved in the development and protection of the service information agreement.
At a July 2002 hearing, Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., subcommittee chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, asked that independent repairers and the automakers meet to discuss gaps in automotive service information. ASA and automaker trade associations, as well as individual car manufacturers, worked together to resolve emissions and non-emissions service information issues that led to a written agreement. Using the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) as the forum for the industry to address service, tool and training issues, the industry has seen a vast improvement in not only service information items but in other areas of automotive repair including training and tool information.
NASTF now has a board of directors, staff and financial support. Its popular open meetings have become a regular event at ASA's Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) program in Las Vegas during Industry Week. Collision repairers have also expanded their role in the NASTF process, becoming more involved in the various committees and meetings.
In recognition of the progress made since the fall of 2002, ASA leaders and the automakers gathered in Washington, D.C., last month to meet with congressional leaders on the service information issue. During a meeting and presentation to Dorgan, the senator reflected on the history of the agreement. Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive; and Aaron Clements, ASA chairman; reminded Dorgan of ASA's first female board chair leading a group of Minnesota repairers and other industry leaders to meet with the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., to discuss the service information issue. Wellstone met with Dorgan to help find a solution shortly before his death in an airplane crash. After Wellstone's death, Dorgan noted the history of Wellstone's leadership with service information. This process was the beginning of the negotiations for the agreement.
ASA and the automakers brought Dorgan up to date on the progress of the agreement and NASTF. They also presented Dorgan with a framed letter from ASA, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers thanking him for all he has done for the automotive repair industry.
It is important to also note the role Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., has played in the success of the agreement and the NASTF. Both the agreement and NASTF have been threatened by the continued introduction of the so-called Right to Repair legislation. The legislation seeks to substitute the government distribution and control of automotive service information for the current structure of service information distribution, which relies heavily on third-party providers, automaker Web sites and a complaint resolution process through the NASTF, a voluntary industry organization.
Westmoreland noted that we need less government interference in our small businesses, not more as touted by the Right to Repair legislation. Clements and Pyle, along with the CEOs of the major automaker associations, met with Westmoreland to thank him for ensuring that the Right to Repair legislation would not impose a government service information distribution system for automotive repair. Westmoreland reminded the group that both the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau had stated before the House Commerce Committee that the Right to Repair legislation was not needed.
Right to Repair legislation has been introduced in seven states as well as the U.S. Congress. The federal legislation has about one third the number of co-sponsors it acquired in the last Congress. A significant number of legislators removed their names from the legislation after hearings in the last Congress.
At the state level, none of the seven bills have passed in 2007 or are likely to pass in the foreseeable future.
During the course of the Capitol Hill meetings, automotive leaders also discussed the importance of stopping the super warranty provisions of the California Clean Car program from increasing its presence in more states. ASA is concerned that the industry focus should be on stopping super warranty initiatives and not on moving Right to Repair legislation, which is a solution continually searching for a problem to solve. The California program exists, in some form, in 12 states. Four additional states are considering the program.
ASA is very pleased with the progress of the NASTF and notes the great deal of interest in the upcoming NASTF public meetings at CARS in Las Vegas. NASTF provides a public forum for every segment of the automotive industry to participate and strive to make our industry stronger.
To read more about the fifth anniversary of NASTF, please see page 33. To view the ASA-Automaker Service Information Agreement and other photographs from some of the Capitol Hill meetings, please go to www.TakingTheHill.com.
AutoInc. Web Site |
ASA Web Site |
ASA-Automaker Agreement Reaches Milestone |
I/M Programs...What Is the State of Affairs? |
The 'Nitty Gritty' of How Labor Times are Developed |
It's All About TIme |
Guest Editorial |
Tech to Tech |
Tech Tips |
News Briefs |
Taking the Hill |
Around ASA |
Shop Profile |
Net Worth |
Stat Corner |
Copyright (c) 1996-2011. Automotive Service AssociationŽ. All rights reserved.