Law & Order

Aftermarket Trade Associations Urge FTC to Implement "Nixing the Fix" Report Findings

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By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) joined six other aftermarket trade organizations in sending a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) praising its recent “Nixing the Fix” report to Congress. The report identifies anti-competitive repair restrictions employed by manufacturers for a wide-range of products from automobiles and mobile phones to printers and computers. The groups urged the FTC to take steps to address report findings.

The aftermarket groups included recommendations that the FTC could implement in the immediate future along with actions that may need Congressional authorization. The recommendations included:

  • Expand ways in which consumers are made aware of their rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA), which prohibits the conditioning of warranties with the use of original equipment parts or service.
  • Reinforce that consumers have the right to modify their vehicle and that it is illegal to deny the warranty based on the mere presence of a specialty part.
  • Eliminate manufacturers’ marketing practices that discourage the use of non-original equipment parts or services.
  • Develop better enforcement tools for the FTC, including more coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on cross-referencing consumer complaints.
  • Expand coverage of the MMWA to include commercial vehicles.
  • Enact legislation to provide vehicle owners with access to data transmitted by their vehicle and provide them the ability to have that data made available to the independent repair shops.

In addition to SEMA, the letter was signed by Auto Care Association, Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA), Service Station Dealers of American and Allied Trades (SSDA), Car Coalition (CAR), Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), and Tire Industry Association (TIA).

Access a copy of the letter.

For more information contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.