Masse Declares Victory for Canadian Auto Consumer’s “Right to Repair”: Bill C-273 Campaign succeeds in getting automakers and the aftermarket to ensure choice and fair competition

October 30, 2009

Masse Declares Victory for Canadian Auto Consumer’s “Right to Repair”:
Bill C-273 Campaign succeeds in getting automakers and the aftermarket to ensure choice and fair competition

OTTAWA, ON- “This is a victory for every Canadian automobile owner who obtained choice and competition when it comes to repair and maintenance of their vehicles as well as time ensuring emission standards and public safety are guaranteed,” declared Brian Masse, NDP Industry and Automotive Critic, as a result of the meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry Science, and Technology on his Private Member’s Bill C-273 (“Right to Repair”) which passed second reading in the House of Commons earlier this year with a vote 247 to 18. “The automakers and the aftermarket industry agreed at the committee hearing to work together on resolving the issue and fulfilling the purpose of the legislation by setting up a system that parallels the market place in the United States.”

On board diagnostic capabilities (OBD II) were introduced by automobile industry in 1998 and are contained on approximately 59 % of the 18.4 million vehicles on the road in Canada. As cars and trucks become more advanced, the use of these computer control units is essential for the proper maintenance of emissions, safety standards, and operations. The tools and software required for repair are increasingly complex, thus creating a need for accurate disclosure and fair access to these technologies. Difficulty in obtaining this information and equipment from automakers has created significant consumer concern, competitive barriers for the aftermarket service sector and initiated the need for the legislation to draw attention to the issue. The Agreement respecting the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard developed by the automakers in reaction to the overwhelming support by the House of Commons for Bill C-273 at second reading vote, accompanied by the additional commitments made by the automakers and accepted by the aftermarket at the industry committee will satisfy the goal of the bill when completely implemented.

Matthew Wilson, from the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association (representing Chrysler, Ford, GM and Navistar), stated at the committee hearing when referring to the agreement and the commitments made " I can say it was our intent from day one in drafting this (the agreement) that it be as close as possible to what the US did. In intent, which is the important part, it (the agreement) is identical to the US."

David Adams, president of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada (representing car makers from Europe, Japan, and South Korea), stated at the committee hearing, "we tried to get it (the agreement) as identical as possible." He went further and made the additional commitment in regards to car makers starting to sell vehicles in Canadian market when he stated, "...any new entrant coming to the marketplace is going to join either my association (AIAMC) or Mr. Wilson's association (CVMA) and a requirement of joining the association is that you have to sign onto this agreement and participate likewise."

“I'd like to thank the thousands of Canadians across the country who worked hard for such a long time on this issue. This victory is due to all of your determined efforts over the last three years. The industry has moved from denial to acceptance to actually setting up the system to resolve the right-to-repair issue once and for all. The money saved by consumers due the lower costs this agreement will bring about will be enormous. At this time the need for more legislation no longer exists. Every vehicle owner in the country has gotten their rights back,” Masse stated.

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For more information: Office of Brian Masse (519) 255-1631