NDP Demands Canadian Auto Consumer’s “Right to Repair” their vehicles: Halifax, Nova Scotia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 14, 2009

NDP Demands Canadian Auto Consumer’s “Right to Repair” their vehicles: Advocating legislation to ensure choice and fair competition continues in the auto service sector

Halifax, NS- “Canadian Auto Consumers deserve choice and competition when it comes to repair and maintenance of their vehicles,” declared Brian Masse NDP Industry, Automotive, and Border Critic, at a press conference held at Midas Automotive and Tire Service this morning where he was joined by Megan Leslie, MP (Halifax), Peter Stoffer, MP (Sackville- Easternshore) and members of the auto aftermarket industry to advocate for his Private Member’s Bill C-273 to ensure consumers’ “Right to Repair.” The bill passed second reading the in House of Commons on May 13 by a vote of 247 to 18.

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. The bill contains provisions that balance the need to protect proprietary information while at the same time creating a mechanism to keep robust competition in the auto service sector.

“The CAA represents 5 million motorists across the country. Our main concern on the “Right to Repair” issue is to make sure that automobile owners get the best possible service at a fair price. This bill will benefit the consumer by allowing for increased competition and consumer choice,“ stated the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) in an endorsement of the bill when it was introduced.

The Executive Director of Pollution Probe, Ken Ogilvie in a letter of support when the bill was introduced wrote, “Pollution Probe supports the “Right to Repair” Act presented by Brian Masse, M. P. Minimizing emission of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from vehicles into the environment is a responsibility shared by government, automakers, and drivers. It is important that drivers have effective access to required vehicle maintenance and service in this regard.”

John Strickey of Midas Automotive stated, “The Canadian auto repair industry has always had vigorous and widespread competition. This bill makes sure it stays that way.”

“No environmental, consumer protection or public safety measure is voluntary. A law is the only real protection for vehicle owners. Even in the United States they use an operating agreement that is backed up by a law that is enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency,” Leslie stated.

Bill C-273, the “Right-to-Repair Act”, has been endorsed by the Automotive Industries Association, the CAA, Pollution Probe, the Retail Council of Canada, and numerous other automotive and consumer organizations.

“No group of foreign companies should dictate to Canadian consumers what the automotive market place should be. Bill C-273 provides for Canadians to make those decisions.” Stoffer declared.

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