Masse Demands Canadian Auto Consumer’s “Right to Repair” their vehicles: Launches campaign for bill to ensure choice and fair competition continues in the auto service sector


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 11, 2009

Masse Demands Canadian Auto Consumer’s “Right to Repair” their vehicles
Launches campaign for bill to ensure choice and fair competition continues in the auto service sector

OTTAWA, ON- “Canadian Auto Consumers deserve choice and competition when it comes to repair and maintenance of their vehicles while at the same time ensuring emission standards and public safety are guaranteed,” declared Brian Masse, NDP Industry and Automotive Critic, at a press conference where he was joined by members of the automotive aftermarket industry, the Canadian Automobile Association, and The Retail Council to launch a campaign for his Private Member’s Bill C-273 (“Right to Repair”) which will be voted upon in this session of parliament.
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 has created significant consumer concern.
“CAA represents over 5 million motorists across the country. Our main concern on the “Right to Repair” issue is to ensure that automobile owners have the opportunity to choose and get the best possible service at a fair price. This bill will benefit the consumer by allowing for increased competition and consumer choice,“ explained a representative from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).The bill contains provisions that balances the need to protect proprietary information while at the same time creating a mechanism to keep robust competition in the auto service sector.
The Executive Director of Pollution Probe, Bob Oliver in a letter of support wrote, “Pollution Probe supports the "Right to Repair" Act presented by Brian Masse, M.P. Windsor West. Minimizing emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from vehicles into the environment is a responsibility shared by government, automakers and drivers. An important step that drivers can take to minimize emissions is to keep their vehicle in a state of good repair and ensure that their vehicle's emissions control system is functioning properly. It is important that drivers have effective access to required vehicle maintenance and service in this regard.”

Marc Brazeau, President of the Automotive Industries Association stated, “The Canadian auto repair industry has always had vigorous and widespread competition. This bill makes sure it stays that way.”

“The time has come to stand up for Canadian auto consumers. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency already does some of what this bill is trying to achieve. I hope this government, in this case, not only follows America’s lead on this issue, but takes the initiative to institute this made-in Canada solution,” Masse demanded.
Bill C-273, the “Right-to-Repair Act”, has been endorsed by the Automotive Industries Association, the CAA, Pollution Probe, The Retail Council, Canadian Association of Retire Persons, Building Trade Council and numerous other automotive organizations.
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