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MEMA Leads Call for Greater Freedom for Consumer Choice in Auto Repair

Date: March 15, 2018

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and two of its divisions, the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing, have again requested exemptions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that would protect consumer choice in both automotive replacement components and service. The exemption MEMA, AASA and MERA requests would allow independent repair facilities to access and service vehicle software on behalf of consumers.

As it did during the sixth triennial review of the DMCA, MEMA asserts that the U.S. Copyright Office can issue a narrowly-tailored exemption for vehicle diagnosis, repair, or modification that better communicates the intent of the current vehicle repair exemption while remaining faithful to existing law.

“This is an important issue for MEMA, AASA and MERA, striking at the heart of consumers’ freedom to choose where their vehicles are maintained and how they are repaired,” noted Bill Long, AASA president and COO and executive vice president, government affairs, MEMA. “We will continue to work with the U.S. Copyright Office to ensure that the voice of automotive aftermarket suppliers is heard on this issue.”

In the comments, MEMA argued that striking a balanced exemption would preserve consumers’ right to choose their automotive repair service provider: “MEMA is confident that the Copyright Office can once again strike an appropriate balance between the rights of vehicle owners and the rights of intellectual property owners. One way to do so would be to define exemption beneficiaries less restrictively, while retaining the other restrictions in the existing exemption for vehicle diagnosis, repair, and modification. Such an exemption would not provide a green light to companies to traffic in products designed to circumvent access and copy controls. It would merely recognize that existing law already authorizes consumers to have their vehicles repaired and serviced by vehicle repair technicians of their choosing and give them a means of doing so.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Cindy Sebrell, Vice President, Communications, csebrell@mema.org or 202-658-9487

About MEMA

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and its four specialized divisions comprise a leading international trade association in the fast-changing mobility industry. Representing vehicle suppliers that manufacture and remanufacture components, technologies, and systems for use in passenger cars and heavy trucks, MEMA works to ensure that the marketplace and public policy support the development of advanced, transformative technologies that enable safer, smarter, and more efficient vehicles. By directly employing more than 871,000 Americans and generating a total employment impact of 4.26 million jobs, MEMA’s member companies are part of the largest sector of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. MEMA’s members are represented through four divisions: Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing, and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). For more information on how MEMA is leading transformation in the mobility industry, visit www.mema.org.

About AASA

AASA (www.aftermarketsuppliers.org) exclusively serves manufacturers of aftermarket components, tools and equipment, and related products, an important part of the automotive parts manufacturing industry which supports 871,000 American jobs. AASA is a recognized industry change agent – promoting a collaborative industry environment, providing a forum to address issues and serving as a valued resource for members. AASA is the light vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). “AASA, The Voice for the Automotive Aftermarket Supplier Industry”

About MERA

At MERA -- The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing -- our network of sustainable manufacturers, suppliers, universities, and professional services firms promotes the economic, environmental, and product performance benefits of remanufacturing and similar forms of sustainable manufacturing. MERA is a division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), which has been advocating on behalf of the mobility supplier industry since 1904. Although MERA’s roots are in the automotive and commercial vehicle sectors, since 2015, MERA has represented the interests of the broader remanufacturing community. MERA is also the home of Manufactured Again Certification, where manufacturing and remanufacturing are held to the same international quality standards. Additional information about MERA and its members is available at MERA.org.

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