MEMA’s McCarthy, Wilson Provide Right to Repair Updates

MEMA’s McCarthy, Wilson Provide Right to Repair Updates

MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers advocated for the proposed Class 7 Exemption, which it said is crucial for ensuring fair access to software-controlled vehicle operational and telematics data.

MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers’ President Paul McCarthy, and Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
MEMA, The Vehicle Suppliers Association, Ann Wilson, recently provided key updates on Right to Repair and the association’s advocacy on behalf of aftermarket suppliers.

Following is the letter McCarthy and Wilson sent on Friday, April 19, as a MEMA Aftermarket Member update:

“Today, MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers delivered testimony at the Ninth DMCA Triennial Rulemaking session, advocating for the proposed Class 7 Exemption, which is crucial for ensuring fair access to software-controlled vehicle operational and telematics data. The testimony was provided on our behalf by Dan Jasnow from our general council, ArentFox Schiff.  

Why it Matters: Helps Advance Objective of Repair Choice 

The Class 7 Exemption aims to provide vehicle and fleet owners and independent repair shops with the necessary data to diagnose and repair vehicles efficiently. MEMA has led the efforts to enact this exemption and with the backing of both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission; success will enable consumers to have more efficient vehicle diagnostics and repairs. 

Legislative Front: The REPAIR Act 

This advocacy is part of MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers’ broader commitment to promote a free market and consumer choice surrounding where and with what parts a consumer can repair and maintain their vehicle. By aligning its support for the DMCA Class 7 Exemption with efforts to pass the REPAIR Act, MEMA is working to establish comprehensive legal frameworks that ensure consumers have the freedom to choose where and how their vehicles are repaired.  

State-level Action: Victory in Maine 

Additionally, we join the Auto Care Association and CARE in applauding the Maine Senate for its recent decision to reject legislation that tried to overturn voters’ referendum decision on repair information access. This is a win for consumer voices and helps support our efforts to push for a comprehensive, national solution through the REPAIR Act. 

What’s Next: Your Role 

Your support is crucial as we continue to push for legislation that promotes fair repair practices. We are asking our members to commit to our At-Home REPAIR Campaign and host an in-district meeting or facility visit while your representatives are in their home districts this spring and summer.  

Your MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers advocacy team will continue to update you on progress toward our goal of securing federal legislation for repair choice.”

Dan Jasnow’s testimony:

As vehicles incorporate new technologies, the need for operational and telematics data access has never been more pressing. The Class 7 Exemption would allow vehicle owners to view and share necessary vehicle data with repairers of their choice – helping ensure access to safe, affordable, and convenient vehicle repairs, MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers said.

In his testimony, Jasnow highlighted the increasing costs and extended wait times plaguing the automobile repair industry, noting a 20 percent increase in repair costs over the past year alone. By allowing vehicle owners to share essential data, such as real-time service alerts and vehicle performance metrics with their chosen service providers, the Class 7 Exemption promises to reduce repair costs and improve service efficiency.

“Consumers’ ability to access their vehicle and operational data will pose minimal threat to the rights of copyright holders yet yield numerous benefits for the repair industry and car owners,” commented Mr. Jasnow before the U.S. Copyright Office. He also addressed concerns about vehicle safety, reassuring that any exemption would be crafted narrowly to ensure compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation safety regulations.

MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers said its push for the Class 7 Exemption reflects a broader effort to maintain a balance between the rights of copyright owners and the public’s right to lawful uses of copyrighted works, a concern echoed by the House Commerce Committee during the drafting of the DMCA. This rulemaking session presents a pivotal opportunity to address the restrictive business models that threaten to limit consumer access to vehicle data necessary for repairs and maintenance.

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