'Jack The Mechanic' Wins As NJ Assembly Passes Right To Repair Act & Ensures Small Business Competition

Brings 'Car Repair' Relief to Motoring Consumers, States CARE

MarketWatch — Monday, October 27, 2008

/PRNewswire–USNewswire via COMTEX/

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The New Jersey State Assembly today passed The Right to Repair Act in a vote of 49 to 22. Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton), sponsor of The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, A-803, today hit a home run for motoring consumers to have the ability to have their vehicles repaired where and by whom they choose. The Right to Repair Act also brings relief and the ability to compete to independent repair shops who have been locked out of the information to fully repair consumers later model vehicles.

Gusciora said during today's floor debate, "We've been hearing a lot about 'Joe the Plumber,' but I'm also concerned about 'Jack the Mechanic,' the small independent repair shop owners who also need the ability to compete against the large car companies and new car dealerships and to be able to service motoring consumers."

Gusciora further stated that consumers should be able to have the choice of where and by whom to have their vehicles repaired, including car dealerships, if they choose. He added that the American Automobile Association (AAA), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Citizen Action and others are on the same page on this legislation.

Vehicles that are 1994 and newer are equipped with computers that control the repair and service information on vital systems such as, but not limited to: air bags, brakes, steering mechanisms, tire pressure, oil changes, check engine lights, transmissions, electronics and most of the vehicle. The only way motorists can have these systems and their "entire" vehicle repaired and parts replaced is to return to the new car dealerships.

"The inability to quickly and affordably have their vehicles repaired at the shops of their choice has created a safety hazard for motorists who need immediate repairs but may not be near the appropriate car dealership or any car dealership, hurts low and fixed income motorists, hurts fuel efficiency, jobs and the environment," stated Sandy Bass-Cors, Executive Director, The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE).

"The New Jersey Assembly's historic passage of The Right to Repair Act paves the way for the New Jersey senate to pass the bill and seal New Jersey's motorists' ability to make decisions on their own vehicles. Consumers need economic relief and this is one way they can regain control of their pocket books. Rather than owning two mortgages, one for their home and one for their vehicle, they can come out from under the car companies' thumbs and make the affordable repair choices they desire, not what the car companies want," stated Bass-Cors.

Assemblyman Gusciora stated during the debates that the Right to Repair Act moves New Jersey forward.

New Jersey has seven thousand aftermarket locations. The automotive aftermarket employs five million people nationwide in over 495,000 locations. CARE represents companies in the automotive aftermarket, among them: NAPA, Midas, CARQUEST, AutoZone, Advance Auto, O'Reilly's and EZ Lube.

Among the groups supporting passage of the New Jersey Right to Repair Act: AAA, RetireSafe, Citizen Action, NFIB, Alliance of Automotive Service Providers, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, and motoring consumers.

SOURCE Coalition for Auto Repair Equality

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