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MEMA and AASA Reinforce Support to FTC as Commission Unanimously Voted to Ramp Up Law Enforcement Against Repair Restrictions

MEMA’s Catherine Boland commented during FTC’s open meeting during which a policy statement aimed at restoring Right to Repair for small businesses, workers, consumers, and government entities was adopted.

Date: July 22, 2021

Research Triangle Park N.C. – During a policy meeting yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) unanimously voted to ramp up law enforcement against illegal repair restrictions. Catherine Boland, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (“MEMA”), commented on behalf of AASA during the hearing in support of the automotive aftermarket’s fight for appropriate access to vehicle data.  
 
“Contrary to what vehicle manufacturers claim, independent aftermarket vehicle service can be completed in a safe and cybersecure fashion. We applaud the findings and recommendations in the Nixing the Fix report and thank the FTC for today’s policy statement that will ensure that vehicle owners will continue to be able to choose where to repair their vehicles,” commented Catherine Boland in the July 21, 2021 policy meeting. “We also urge the FTC to consider what additional statutory authority may be necessary to protect consumer choice in repair and work with Congress to seek those legislative changes. Independent aftermarket service must remain a viable option. We look forward to working with policymakers to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties.” 

In a July 16, 2021 letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan, Paul McCarthy, President and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (“AASA”) urged, “...the FTC to consider what specific additional statutory authority is needed to ensure that consumers can continue to choose where and how to seek vehicle repair, maintenance and service as vehicles become more technically advanced. Legislation is necessary to ensure that the FTC’s authority remains current as vehicle technology continues to evolve. Such guidance will assist Congress as it deliberates on legislation to further enhance consumer protections.” 
 
Yesterday’s FTC meeting comes on the heels of President’s Biden’s June 2021 Executive Order to establish new rules making it easier and cheaper for consumers to repair items they own – including their vehicles. The executive order includes 72 specific initiatives including a call for the Federal Trade Commission initiate a rulemaking on repair and maintenance. AASA and MEMA have been advocating on behalf of the industry in Washington and urging the administration and Congress to act on this issue, including additional legislative direction for increased consumer protection authority at the FTC.  
 
In May 2021, the FTC submitted a report to Congress identifying anti-competitive repair restrictions, parts limitations, and inaccessible software specially in the vehicle manufacturing and mobile phone repair and maintenance. The report notes that, “there is scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions.” The FTC findings are in lock step with what AASA and MEMA have been advocating for on behalf of the aftermarket.  

About MEMA 
Since 1904, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) has been the voice of the automotive and commercial vehicle supplier industry, the largest manufacturing sector in the United States. Across the entire range of new vehicle innovation—from autonomous to zero-emissions technologies—vehicle suppliers are leading the way. Our member companies conceive, design and manufacture the original equipment systems and technologies that make up two-thirds of the value in every vehicle. Member companies also supply the aftermarket with the parts that keep millions of vehicles on the road, fueling international commerce and society’s need for transportation. And all of our members’ work is done with a focus on public safety and the environment. 

We live in a fast-paced industry and world, and MEMA is committed to making both a better place to work and live. We foster a respectful, diverse and collaborative community. We are stronger together because we promote inclusion in all aspects of the vehicle supplier industry. 

MEMA is the parent organization of four affiliate associations: Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing, and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). MEMA has offices in Southfield, Mich., Research Triangle Park, N.C. and Washington, D.C. Learn more about our organization, our members and the great vehicle supplier community at MEMA.org.  
 
About AASA 
The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) connects suppliers of aftermarket parts, chemicals, tools, diagnostics, and technologies to what matters – including industry analysis, peer forums, customer and technology trends, global insights, and government advocacy. Since 1904, AASA’s sole purpose is championing the North American aftermarket industry and advocating for the growth of a profitable, innovative, and influential supplier community. Learn more about how AASA connects members to what matters at aftermarketsuppliers.org

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