Law & Order

Right to Repair Agreement Distracts From Need to Pass the REPAIR Act

By the SEMA D.C. office

The Automotive Service Association, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, and Alliance for Automotive Innovation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the right to repair that updates a 2014 national MOU between automakers and the independent repair industry. The agreement now includes telematics data needed to diagnose and repair vehicles and covers all vehicle technologies and powertrains.

While the MOU is a step in the right direction, it is non-binding and provides access only to telematics and data that is available through the OBDII port. Automakers would provide access through OEM-controlled systems and tools per the agreement. The MOU does not provide vehicle owners and the aftermarket with direct access to telematic and repair data. Simply put, the MOU does not provide the full protections needed to maintain a competitive repair and modification market in the future. Accordingly, SEMA and our coalition partners continue to advocate for Congress to pass the REPAIR Act. Bipartisan support for the REPAIR Act continues to grow, as lawmakers understand the importance of protecting the right to repair in federal law through an enforceable statute. 

The REPAIR Act is important to repair and replacement businesses, although SEMA still has more work to do to ensure that the legislation extends to protect the right to modify. SEMA is committed to protecting the right to modify vehicles by prohibiting automakers from locking down ECUs and ensuring aftermarket companies have access to the information needed to recalibrate vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) after they have been modified.

The REPAIR Act is the only bill that addresses vehicle maintenance and repair restrictions. Specifically, the REPAIR Act will:  

  • Preserve consumer access to high-quality, affordable vehicle repair by ensuring that vehicle owners and their repairers of choice have access to necessary repair and maintenance tools and data as vehicles continue to become more advanced. 
  • Ensure cybersecurity by allowing vehicle manufacturers to secure vehicle-generated data and requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop standards for how vehicle-generated data necessary for repair can be accessed securely.  
  • Provide transparency for consumers by requiring vehicle owners to be informed that they can choose where and how to get their vehicle repaired. 
  • Create a stakeholder advisory committee and provide them with the statutory authority to provide recommendations to the FTC on how to address emerging barriers to vehicle repair and maintenance.  
  • Provide ongoing enforcement by establishing a process for consumers and independent repair facilities to file complaints with the FTC regarding alleged violations of the requirements in the bill and a requirement that the FTC act within five months of a claim. 

Click here to send a letter to your U.S. Representative that asks them to support the REPAIR Act by cosponsoring the bill. For more information, contact Eric Snyder at