The Right to Repair Act and the Trucking Industry

The Right to Repair Act

The Right to Repair Act was recently introduced to Congress, however, the impact it will have, if passed, is not yet clear. At a basic level, the Right to Repair Act requires that for a reasonable price, automakers must give full access to all service information, computer codes, and safety-related bulletins needed to repair vehicles to anyone who needs it. However, the bill does protect automaker’s trade secrets by requiring only that they make the information they give their authorized dealers to the public. The bill is intended to level the playing field between dealerships, independent repair shops, and vehicle owners.

This bill is aimed at the automotive industry, however, the commercial trucking repair business also faces similar issues of being denied certain information necessary for repairing semi-trucks. The trucking industry will be watching this bill closely as it could lead the way for similar legislation for truckers.

Economic Impact

At the heart of the the Right to Repair Act is the question of who owns the vehicle’s repair information, which is something that Sandy Bass-Cors, executive direct for the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality, made sure to clarify. The Act challenges the automotive industry for ownership of the auto repair information, as up until now they’ve been the ones who control access to essential repair information. If the Right to Repair Act passes, ownership of repair information will transfer to the automotive owner once they purchase their vehicle.

According to the Right to Repair website, the Act will help keep repair costs down for vehicle owners because there will be more garages able to compete for a car owner’s business. In addition to being economically beneficial for car owners, independent garages and repair shops will be able to more easily compete with automotive dealerships. At this point in our economic recovery, competition from small businesses is essential to growing our economy, therefore this bill could have a significant impact on the recovery.

The Act’s Effect on the Trucking Industry

While the Right to Repair Act is aimed at the automotive industry, its success or failure could have a direct effect on the trucking industry. If the bill passes, it could mean a similar bill aimed at the trucking industry will not be far behind. The truckers and those who run trucking companies face similar issues of not having access to all of the essential information needed for repairing their trucks. Since truck owners then have fewer service options, the cost of repairs is usually high. If more people were allowed access to repair documentation then trucking companies could cut repair costs, which would help with the industry’s economic recovery.

Whether or not this bill passes, one this is certain: those involved in the trucking industry will be watching the developments with it closely.

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