Members of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the aftermarket division of the MEMA, met with officials from the Federal Trade Commission in Washington on Aug. 29 to discuss the rising problems of repair restrictions, motor vehicle data ownership, and the consumer’s right to choose his or her own repair facility.
AASA President and COO Paul McCarthy attended the meeting with representatives from seven member companies from across the country.
“Protecting consumers’ rights to choose service locations and parts is an important issue for the aftermarket industry as well as consumers,” said McCarthy. “The FTC must step in to protect consumers and lead a response to a national problem and to ensure that consumers have access to reliable and reasonably priced services.”
AASA has long said that, in a competitive market, consumers prefer the choice of independent service providers and that, by locking independent service providers out of the market, repair restrictions artificially distort consumers’ natural preference for more affordable independent maintenance and repair services.
The message the group brought to the FTC was clear: qualified repair facilities require access to specific information to ensure that vehicles operate properly. This allows quality service and repairs to be completed at a reasonable cost, so it is imperative that the independent aftermarket industry identify and seek removal of repair restrictions and access to data.