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Highlights from the NY State Public Hearing on the Right to Repair Act

 

On Wednesday June 9, 2010 I gave testimony at the NY State Public Hearing in support of the Right to Repair Act. It was a very interesting day and a lot was said, both for and against this bill. The public hearing lasted over four hours, so I will summarize some of the highlights for everyone. It is interesting to note how vehemently the opposition is fighting this bill.

 

I felt some the comments of those who opposed the bill were at times insulting with respect to the aftermarket. Some questioned the integrity of our work and inferred that the work we do may be somewhat inferior to that of the new car dealers. Also, some opponents question the parts we use, as possibly inferior. Luckily, my turn to testify was after many of the opponents, so I loaded my gun and gave it to them, both Barrels!

 

I told the panel of assemblymen that the comments being spoken here are insulting and I am outraged by these comments. I went on to tell them that we, the aftermarket are the preferred choice of the motoring public, not the new car dealers. I also told them that the aftermarket solves many of the factory mistakes, such as Ford Explorer ball joints and Chevy Silverado control arms. All we want is a fair and level playing field. We are asking the car makers to make available all the information and tools necessary to fix the cars “they” made. Also, car makers should not build systems that force the consumer to go back to the dealer. The right of the people to choose to where they get their car fixed should be theirs, not the automaker.

 

For those of you that may be members of the ASA (Automotive Service Association), they are against the Right to Repair act. Don Seyfer was there to represent the ASA. His position, like all those who oppose the bill, is that all the information and tools are already available to us and there is absolutely no reason to proceed with this bill. Don Seyfer cited “Lack of training” and “Not knowing how to obtain the information” as the primary reason why independent shops hit road blocks and can’t complete a repair.

 

There were only four independent repair shops testifying. However, we made a great presentation and one Assemblyman; Michael G. Dendekker, actually told the audience that before hearing from the 4 independent repair shop owners, he was not in favor of the bill. But, after hearing the testimony from the 4 shop owners, he now understands why we want the Right to Repair Act. He stated that the 4 shop owners made the most powerful argument of the day.

 

Much was said that day, and I am not sure what the outcome will be. My fear is that the car manufacturers, the new car dealers, the new car dealer associations and the auto workers unions are a powerful group and they comprise a lot of voting power. But the aftermarket is a powerful group too. We need the support of all segments of the aftermarket; from independent repair shops to aftermarket part companies to aftermarket franchises.

 

One last thing, The Right to Repair Act is something that I support. I don’t know your position on it. I feel passionate about it because of the increasing challenges we must endure to properly and safely repair our customer’s cars. Also, it is clear to me that the systems and the design of new cars are an attempt to lock out not only us, but the consumer from his own car.

 

Tell me how you feel; for or against and why.

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Joe, I support the right to repair act. From experience I know that there are too many times that vehicles have to be returned to the dealer. This is especially the case where body control systems are involved. It is good to know that you were one of the speakers at the hearing. It is not flattery to say that based upon the body of your work that I have been privileged to read and learn from on this forum I would conclude that you are as strong an advocate for the independent repair shops as could have been found. Thank you for talking your time to speak for us.

 

Thanks for confidence in me. I made a pledge to myself this year to get more involved in the political arena. ASO members such as you have helped me greatly in understanding the needs and the frustration of the typical shop owner. I will continue to fight for our rights, but I need your comments and opinions.

 

ASO will become the greatest source of automotive shop management information, worldwide!

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Thanks for confidence in me. I made a pledge to myself this year to get more involved in the political arena. ASO members such as you have helped me greatly in understanding the needs and the frustration of the typical shop owner. I will continue to fight for our rights, but I need your comments and opinions.

 

ASO will become the greatest source of automotive shop management information, worldwide!

 

The battle continues. I get the impression that the legislation doesn't really understand the battle we are up against. And, it doesn't help much when ASA doesn't see the problem. I know what they are saying..."all the info is available, and that lack of proper training is the problem." granted, that's true... in a way. But, when you consider the fact that the information provided don't exactly have "complete" information... such as, if you looked up on the information page for something to do inside a door the only info given to start the procedure is; "remove door panel" Do they not know that that IS not complete information. Some of these door panels ... IF.. you are not careful, can break beyond repair if taken off the wrong way. I'm only using that as an example... there is a lot more different types of repair procedures I could mention.

 

I know on some procedures everything is there, right down to which bolts should be removed. The problems is that NOT all the procedures are there. When I was a kid, I would go down to my dad's work area and sit and look thru the old 40' and 50's repair manuals. Everything you needed to know was there, even pictures of how to do the repair. But, that's not the case today with all the so called "secrets" that the manufacturer doesn't want to share. These are things that get you and I into trouble.

 

The way I see it... the information that is available is like a hang man's noose. Just enough info to hang yourself but not enough to properly do a job. If that's what ASA is referring too... I would have to say they are absolutely full of it. If things don't change, and we as the true independent.... decent shops in the nation... we would have to have such a HUGE hourly labor charge to compensate for the cost of buying these proper scanning equipment and proper information... people, our customers would be forced to go back to the dealer merely because we would be too expensive.

 

Buying all the neccessary equipment at the cost of these individual manufacturers is entirely impossible. Now, if you just wanted to make a living changing starters and brake pads... I guess you could get buy. But, that's not me... I'm a specialty shop that does mainly electronics... and the cost for me... is completely going to put me out of business.

 

This is MY main concern... these legisatures don't see this... they obviously don't understand the plight we are in. You know, if they passed some stupid A&& law where ALL indepedent shops including tire shops were forced to close for one week or even a day... the dealerships could not handle the load. It would be complete caos.

 

I found out last week that the SAAB dealer in town doesn't even service their own convertible tops... they don't even have the diagnostic procedures for them... I asked, "Well, what do you do with them." Their answer, "We send them out to a convertible top shop." I called that shop... they don't have the procedures either.... they do it the all fashion way.... GUESS... and keep changing trip switches and components till it works... and pass the cost of all that back to the customer... NOW WHO'S SCREWED! ! !

 

Let's hope that something is done to wake up America to whats going on with their cars and trucks that we are so dependent on. The independent shop is here to stay as far as I'm concerned... We just have to make sure the ones that are making all the laws understand what's going on. I'm hoping this industry doesn't end up like the mom and pop grocery store or the milkman that delivered to your door. This has got to stop, this has got to be fixed... and soon.

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Here is a link to the hearing Joe spoke at.

 

Joe, your testimony is at about 1 hour, 50 minutes.

 

We got a notice from a vendor about an assembly woman from New York who is against the Right to Repair Act. Everyone should call her office and voice their opinion on the importance of this bill. She is the Chairman of the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee.

 

Audrey Pheffer

Bill A6634

Right to Repair Act

(718)641-8755

 

You don't have to live in New York to call, and it would also be a great idea to pass this along to your customers to have them call as well. In addition you should check out and send out the link to righttorepair.org

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Here is a link to the hearing Joe spoke at.

 

Joe, your testimony is at about 1 hour, 50 minutes.

 

We got a notice from a vendor about an assembly woman from New York who is against the Right to Repair Act. Everyone should call her office and voice their opinion on the importance of this bill. She is the Chairman of the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee.

 

Audrey Pheffer

Bill A6634

Right to Repair Act

(718)641-8755

 

You don't have to live in New York to call, and it would also be a great idea to pass this along to your customers to have them call as well. In addition you should check out and send out the link to righttorepair.org

 

I watched the entire video ... I can't understand how these people think we have access to all that information. I'm totally blown away with the guy who owned the dealership and said he has had no problems getting the information... That guy should have brought one of his techs along and let him tell you about that so called... "complete information"

 

The comments that really struck home were the comments from Rick Peak and our own Joe Marconi... If there was a way I could have been there I doubt you could have kept me in my seat... I wanted to chear you guys on and let those people know what we all have been saying for years.

 

Thanx for posting the video... Way to go guys... excellent speeches... now, let's keep it moving and get these changes made.

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I watched the entire video ... I can't understand how these people think we have access to all that information. I'm totally blown away with the guy who owned the dealership and said he has had no problems getting the information... That guy should have brought one of his techs along and let him tell you about that so called... "complete information"

 

The comments that really struck home were the comments from Rick Peak and our own Joe Marconi... If there was a way I could have been there I doubt you could have kept me in my seat... I wanted to chear you guys on and let those people know what we all have been saying for years.

 

Thanx for posting the video... Way to go guys... excellent speeches... now, let's keep it moving and get these changes made.

 

The video tells it all. There WERE times that I wanted to jumped out of my seat and confront these people one to one.

This is a very tough issue and very emotional to me now that I see how the “other side” thinks and how they perceive us.

Please, everyone, watch this video and pass it on. The shop owners of this country need to know the master plan that has been created by the car maker to put us under.

 

I will not allow this to happen! But I need your help. I need each and everyone to be angry, make those phone calls, be active and support the Right To Repair Act.

Joe Marconi

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The video tells it all. There WERE times that I wanted to jumped out of my seat and confront these people one to one.

This is a very tough issue and very emotional to me now that I see how the "other side" thinks and how they perceive us.

Please, everyone, watch this video and pass it on. The shop owners of this country need to know the master plan that has been created by the car maker to put us under.

 

I will not allow this to happen! But I need your help. I need each and everyone to be angry, make those phone calls, be active and support the Right To Repair Act.

Joe Marconi

 

 

Posted the video on my Facebook page...

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