U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush

Rush wants fair shake for independent auto repair shops

From staff reports

A proposed law designed to preserve consumer access to high quality, affordable vehicle repair was introduced recently by U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-1st).

The Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act (HR 6570) would ensure that vehicle owners and independent repair shops have equal access to repair and maintenance tools and data as car companies and licensed dealerships.

BobbyRush

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush

Rush said consumers prefer independent auto repair shops over licensed dealerships by a wide margin: 70% of the 288 million registered vehicles in the U.S. are maintained by independent repair facilities. However, he claimed, inadequate and outdated laws and regulations have made it increasingly difficult for independent repair shops to access critical vehicle data needed for repairs, benefiting car companies and licensed dealerships at the expense of consumers and mom-and-pop repair shops.

“Americans should not be forced to bring their cars to more costly and inconvenient dealerships for repairs when independent auto repair shops are often cheaper and far more accessible,” Rush said. “But as cars become more advanced, manufacturers are getting sole access to important vehicle data while independent repair shops are increasingly locked out. The status quo for auto repair is not tenable, and it is getting worse. If the monopoly on vehicle repair data continues, it would affect nearly 860,000 blue-collar workers and 274,000 service facilities.”

The congressman said the “lack of meaningful consumer choice in the repair market harms low-income Americans and those in underserved communities most. A single mother who relies on her vehicle to go to work and get her kids to school can’t afford to wait days or weeks to have her car repaired at a dealership that is hours away and more expensive than the auto shop around the corner.”

By way of a 2014 Memorandum of Understanding, vehicle owners and technicians are supposed to have the same access to information, tools, and software that car companies make available to their franchised dealers. However, as cars become more technologically advanced, vehicle data is increasingly being transmitted wirelessly and sent only to vehicle manufacturers, who then have the ability to determine who can access the data and at what cost, Rush said. Independent repair shops — which are cheaper than dealerships and preferred by the vast majority of car owners — are effectively locked out, he added.

Rush said the resulting landscape has reduced choice and raised costs for consumers, who spend an average of 36 percent more on vehicle repair at dealerships than at independent repair shops. Limited access to data has already impacted repairs for 37% of vehicles in the U.S., and this number is set to increase dramatically in the coming years — by 2030, 95% of new vehicles sold around the world by 2030 will have wireless data transmission capabilities.

The REPAIR Act will update existing laws to reflect the modernization of automobiles and the importance of consumer choice in auto repair. The legislation is written to foster a competitive environment for vehicle repair while prioritizing cybersecurity and safety for vehicle systems.

Specifically, the REPAIR Act is designed to:

  • Preserve consumer access to high quality and affordable vehicle repair by ensuring that vehicle owners and their repairers of choice have access to necessary repair and maintenance tools and data as vehicles continue to become more advanced.
  • Ensure access to critical repair tools and information. All tools and equipment, wireless transmission of repair and diagnostic data, and access to on-board diagnostic and telematic systems needed to repair a vehicle must be made available to the independent repair industry.
  • Ensure cybersecurity by allowing vehicle manufacturers to secure vehicle-generated data and requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop standards for how vehicle generated data necessary for repair can be accessed securely.
  • Provide transparency for consumers by requiring vehicle owners be informed that they can choose where and how to get their vehicle repaired.
  • Create a stakeholder advisory committee and provide them with the statutory authority to provide recommendations to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on how to address emerging barriers to vehicle repair and maintenance.
  • Provide ongoing enforcement by establishing a process for consumers and independent repair facilities to file complaints with the FTC regarding alleged violations of the requirements in the bill and a requirement that the FTC act within five months of a claim.

In May 2021, the FTC released a report highlighting the barriers auto manufacturers have instituted to block consumers’ Right to Repair. In the report, the FTC supported expanding consumer repair options and found “scant evidence” for the repair restrictions imposed by original equipment manufacturers. In a subsequent policy statement on the report, the FTC noted that these repair restrictions create hardships for families and businesses and that the Commission was “concerned that this burden is borne more heavily by underserved communities, including communities of color and lower-income Americans.”

In July, President Biden issued an executive order encouraging the FTC to address anti-competitive repair restrictions.

The REPAIR Act is supported by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Auto Care Association, CAR (Consumer Access to Repair) Coalition and Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).

Local News

Mary Stanek

Halloween candy dish already full

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 We welcome October and its Halloween festivities. I also welcome all of the Halloween treats that have filled my candy dish already. The St. Turibius community will not be going hungry. Thanks to neighbors, friends and volunteers,…

Peggy Zabicki

There is such a thing as a stupid question

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Today is Ask a Stupid Question Day. Officially, this annual holiday is Sept. 28 but is usually observed on the last school day of September, which falls on Friday, Sept. 30 this year. Whose idea was this? The West Lawn Gardeners group…

Kathy Headley

Weather, and fishing, are just fine

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 The weather has been perfect lately for spending time at Marquette Park, hasn’t it? Whether fishing, golfing, playing tennis or just going for a leisurely walk, folks have been taking advantage of how lucky we are to have…

Joan Hadac

Plenty to enjoy in Gage Park

By Joan Hadac GSWNH correspondent at large Greetings, Gage Parkers! While the search continues for a permanent writer of this column, I’m pleased to report on Gage Park, the neighborhood where I lived for the first 26 years of my life. There’s always something happening in this big, exciting part of Chicago, so here goes.…

Martin Hopkins, a 2009 St. Rita graduate, will lead the school's football program beginning next season. Supplied photo

Area sports roundup: No drama here, St. Rita grad Hopkins named Mustangs football coach

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer There will be no drama waiting to see who the will coach St. Rita’s football team in 2023. Even though there are four weeks to go in the 2022 regular season, the school last week named Martin Hopkins the successor to Todd Kuska. Kuska, in his 25th season as the…

GSWNH_CondorsWinNeighborhoodBattle_092322

Condors prevail on gridiron

Members of the Curie High School girls’ flag football team share a moment of triumph, moments after they won neighborhood bragging rights over Solorio Academy with a 22-8 victory last week. The Condors were paced by game MVP Destiny Miranda and QB Lexi Urzula. – Supplied photo

Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 4.27.56 AM

City expands security-camera program

Free cams available for the poor From staff reports The City’s Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC) has announced the launch of a new Income-Based Application that allows Chicagoans to obtain outdoor security devices, based on income. The expansion builds on what officials call the success of the Home and Business Protection Rebate Application, which helps…

Screen Shot 2022-09-19 at 3.32.50 PM

Is the pandemic over?

Not so fast, city Health Dept. seems to say From staff reports While both public health and political commentators assessed the accuracy of President Joe Biden’s recent proclamation that the pandemic is over, the Chicago Department of Public Health appears to be saying, not so fast. “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem…

GSWNH_BaligaStRichardWindows_092322

A labor of love

  Stained glass entry glows with inspiration at St. Richard Church By Tim Hadac For many years, the north wall of St. Richard Church offered parishioners inside a distracting view of 50th Street. These days, it offers a glimpse into eternal salvation. The clear glass in the windows and doors of the church’s main entrance…

Chicago Police Department

‘That’s more like it’

Neighbors praise police for confronting rowdy crowds By Tim Hadac A year ago, crowds of Mexican Independence Day revelers trashed Pulaski Road—mostly between the Stevenson Expressway and Archer Avenue. In 2022, the partiers were back, but this time they appeared to be met by a more robust and coordinated police response—much to the satisfaction of…

Neighbors

Nael Digital Ad2
CAPITOL RECAP: State announces further unemployment debt repayment

CAPITOL RECAP: State announces further unemployment debt repayment

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced a plan Tuesday, Sept. 27, to reduce a $1.8 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit by $450 million through an infusion of unemployment-related revenues. The trust fund is the pool of money paid into by employers to provide a social safety net for unemployed individuals. The employer’s insurance premiums…

State to reduce $1.8 billion federal unemployment debt by $450 million

State to reduce $1.8 billion federal unemployment debt by $450 million

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced a plan Tuesday to reduce a $1.8 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit by $450 million through an infusion of unemployment-related revenues. The trust fund is the pool of money paid into by employers to provide a social safety net for unemployed…

Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Capitol News Illinois will significantly expand its operations as it enters the fifth year of operations in 2023 because of a significant grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The McCormick Foundation has announced a three-year, $2 million investment in Capitol News Illinois, a nonprofit news organization that provides…

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III pleaded not guilty in federal court Friday to three felony counts stemming from an alleged bribery scheme involving a red light camera company. Jones, 44, is a Chicago Democrat who has served in the Senate since 2009. He is also the…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit filed by two former state legislators who sued for back pay they believed they were due for raises that they voted against while in office. Former Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and former Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, argued…

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III has been charged in federal court with three criminal counts tied to his dealings with a red light camera company. Jones, a Chicago Democrat, is the son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. The younger Jones has served in the Senate since 2009…

Treasurer’s Race: Frerichs touts investment gains, Demmer sees opportunity for GOP check

Treasurer’s Race: Frerichs touts investment gains, Demmer sees opportunity for GOP check

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – In Illinois, the role of state treasurer is that of chief investment officer. Treasurer Michael Frerichs has held that position for two full terms, winning by less than 10,000 votes in 2014 before cruising to an 18 percentage-point victory in 2018. He boasts that Illinois has…

Sen. Emil Jones III charged in bribery scheme

Sen. Emil Jones III charged in bribery scheme

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III has been charged in federal court with three criminal counts tied to his dealings with a red light camera company. Jones, a Chicago Democrat, is the son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. The younger Jones has served in the…

CRR NH American Family Insurance Garcia
CRR NH Rainbow Motel House Ad