BETHESDA, MD – July 25, 2011 – The nation's oldest national agricultural organization, the National Grange, calls on Congress to pass the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 1449) in order to protect individual vehicle ownership rights, particularly for residents of farming and rural communities.
“On behalf of over 200,000 members of the National Grange, we fully support the Right to Repair Act because we believe in an owner’s right to maintain, service, repair and rebuild their vehicle or farming equipment on their own accord or by the repair shop of their choice,” said Nicole Palya Wood, legislative director for the National Grange. “Our members, most of them located in rural areas, value their ability and freedom to fix and repair their own vehicles, tractors and other farm equipment. Should they seek assistance elsewhere, local repair shops should have access to all necessary computer codes and service information in order to properly and efficiently make repairs.
“In addition, we believe that in the absence of the Right to Repair Act, many individuals, both rural and urban, would likely put off important vehicle repairs and maintenance, jeopardizing their safety and the safety of others on the road. It is also important to note that our members often farm and ranch in remote locations where repair shops are just not available. Days waiting on parts from dealers can mean missing crop target pricing, costing our members in agriculture a great deal of revenue.”
The Right to Repair Act protects motoring consumers from an expensive and growing vehicle repair monopoly by requiring that car companies provide full access at a reasonable cost to all service information, tools, computer codes and safety-related bulletins needed to repair motor vehicles. The pro-consumer, pro-small business bill is intended to level the competitive playing field for motoring consumers and between new car dealerships and independent repair shops. The legislation further provides vehicle manufacturers with strong protections for their trade secrets, only requiring them to make available the same non-proprietary diagnostic and repair information they provide their franchised dealers.
The National Grange is the nation's oldest rural advocacy group, with grassroots units established in 2,700 local communities in 37 states. Its members provide service to agriculture and rural areas on a wide variety of issues, including economic development, education, access to rural broadband and legislation designed to assure a strong and viable rural America. It was formed in the years following the American Civil War to unite private citizens in improving the economic and social position of the nation's farm population. Over the past 144 years, it has evolved to include non-farm rural families and communities.