capital report: march 12, 2019

Right to Repair Coalition Takes on Vehicle Data in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition has introduced legislation in the commonwealth protecting consumers’ right to own and control the data generated by their vehicle. The bill would require new vehicle manufacturers to equip their vehicles with “an inter-operable, standardized and open access platform across all makes and models that is capable of securely communicating all telematics vehicle data in a standardized format via direct data connection to the platform.” The bill would further require that the data be accessible by the owner or lessee of the vehicle through a mobile-based application and upon the authorization of the vehicle owner or lessee, all mechanical data shall be directly accessible by an independent motor vehicle repair facility or franchised dealer.

The proposed legislation seeks to respond to a growing number of vehicle manufacturers requiring their authorization in order to access a vehicle’s on-board diagnostic (OBD) system. While these measures seek to provide cybersecurity protections, each car company is pursuing its own proprietary system, thus threatening to significantly increase tooling costs and grant them significant control over access to vehicle repair information. The bill would prohibit the use of any system that restricts access to the OBD port unless the systems are standardized across all makes and models and administered by an entity unaffiliated with a manufacturer.

The coalition has launched a commonwealth-wide grassroots and advertising campaign to educate Massachusetts policymakers, businesses and consumers about the threat that wireless technologies, sometimes referred to as telematics, pose to small business and consumer repair choice. The new legislation seeks to amend the Right to Repair law that was approved by Massachusetts voters in 2012 with 86 percent of the vote.

Questions? Contact Aaron Lowe.

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Tariff Update: Exclusions, Delays and Unknowns

Section 301 Imports from China – First Tariff List: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has granted the first round of product exclusions of nearly 1,000 products from tariffs that went into effect on July 6, 2018 from the first tariff list. Additional decisions on product exclusion requests will be announced periodically. To view the Federal Register Notice announcing the exclusion, click here. To view the updated index of product exclusions requests, click here.

Section 301 Imports from China – Third Tariff List: The third tariff list that went into effect on Sept. 24, 2018 at a tariff rate of 10 percent was scheduled to increase to 25 percent on March 2, 2019. The U.S. has agreed to delay the tariff increase due to progress in ongoing negotiations between the two countries on a number of issues including those covered by the Section 301 investigation. The current tariff rate will remain at 10 percent until further notice.

Section 232 Autos/Auto Parts Investigation: The Department of Commerce submitted the Section 232 report on autos and auto parts to President Trump on Feb. 17. Neither the report nor Commerce’s recommendations have been made public. The president has 90 days to decide whether to take action, which could result in tariffs or other trade restrictions. The Section 232 investigation was initiated in May 2018 to determine if imports of autos and auto parts pose a threat to national security. The Auto Care Association and other industry groups are part of the Driving American Jobs Coalition, opposing any trade restrictions imposed under Section 232.

Questions? Contact Angela Chiang.

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Trade Mission to Colombia – Open to All Aftermarket Companies

The Auto Care Association has announced a new trade mission to Colombia on June 5-6, 2019 that is open to all companies in the automotive aftermarket industry. The trade mission serves as a business development opportunity for companies in the auto care industry seeking to gain first-hand market information and to meet with potential clients and partners.

Participants will have the opportunity to visit EXPOPARTES, the largest Colombian automotive parts fair. Trade mission packages include:

  • Prearranged private business-to-business meetings;
  • Hotel accommodations and meals;
  • Local transportation
  • Interpreters;
  • Market overview briefings; and
  • Networking reception.

Qualifying companies may be eligible to receive an offset of the trade mission package cost. Auto Care Association members will receive a reduced rate.

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Icahn Automotive Hosts Congressman Ted Budd at Road to 2026 Launch

On Feb. 19, 2019, Icahn Automotive and the Auto Care Association welcomed Congressman Ted Budd, R-N.C., to the Universal Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C. for the launch of Icahn’s Road to 2026 campaign. The objective of this campaign is to help fill an industry-wide auto technician gap, projected to grow to 46,000 open positions by 2026. It includes partnerships and investments with tech schools, scholarships and continuing education, as well as the establishment of branded classrooms across the country.

While meetings in Washington between members of Congress and the Auto Care Association’s government affairs team are critical, connecting legislators to member businesses in their jurisdiction to discuss issues like the technician shortage is essential to our success. Industry issues are best brought to life when lawmakers have a chance to meet the constituents who are most impacted.

This is one reason why the Auto Care Association is revving up its grassroots advocacy program in 2019. If you would like to become an advocate for our industry, please contact Matt Robbins, director, government affairs, at We would be happy to assist you with setting up a tour or in-district meeting with your member of Congress.

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ACPAC Aims High in 2019

The Auto Care Political Action Committee (ACPAC) is off to a great start in 2019, raising $58,275 and counting. Last year, ACPAC raised more than $285,000 and set a substantial goal of $350,000 for 2019. ACPAC is successful due to its members continually supporting ACPAC’s efforts and its role in keeping members of Congress informed of the aftermarket’s interests. Dollars raised by ACPAC are donated to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who understand our issues and their impact on businesses in our industry.

With over 100 new members of Congress this session, funds are needed to educate these new officials and safeguard your business. That is why we are dedicated to spending this money wisely and effectively in 2019.

We also recognize that ACPAC only works with the help of its members. That’s why we are concentrating on thanking the members of Auto Care that guarantee our success with their contributions. ACPAC will be holding multiple thank-you receptions throughout the year for our donors, as well as hospitality lounges and other new perks. Some upcoming events include a specialty cocktail bar at the ACPN Conference and a coffee station at Spring Leadership Days.

Please contact Hailey Ray, director, political affairs, at or 240-333-1076 with any questions concerning ACPAC. A list of the benefits offered to its members throughout the calendar year can be found here.

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State Legislative Update

Below are some of the pending “priority bills” that the Auto Care Association is tracking at the state level. For more information on these bills, contact Tom Tucker, director, state affairs, at

Missouri – House Bill 451 | This bill would repeal the requirement that all vehicles must obtain a vehicle safety inspection in order to be licensed.

  • Position: Oppose
  • Status: Withdrawn and subsequently amended to exempt all vehicles from inspections except those with fewer than 150,000 miles and less than 10 years old.

Montana – Senate Bill 251 | This bill would require auto repair shops to conduct repairs in accordance with all directives from the OEMs.

  • Position: Oppose
  • Status: Dead

New Jersey – Senate Bill 1712 | This bill would require vehicle manufacturers to provide notice to new vehicle purchases or leasees of their rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

  • Position: Support
  • Status: Committee passed unanimously and is scheduled to be voted on by the full Senate on March 14.

Hawaii – Senate Bill 823 | This bill would require insurers to provide the consumer a choice of OEM crash parts or aftermarket crash parts. If the consumer chooses the OEM part, the consumer shall not be required to pay the additional cost for repairs using that OEM crash part.

  • Position: Oppose
  • Status: Committee and full Senate passed unanimously. Bill has been referred to the House Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee, as well as the Finance Committee.

New Hampshire – House Bill 664 | This bill would require an insurer to reimburse an automobile repairer for all repairs if the repairer follows OEM-recommended collision repair procedures.

  • Position: Support with amendment
  • Status: Amended twice to include a summer study to include glass replacement.

California – Assembly Bill 142 | This bill would increase the amount of the manufacturer lead-acid battery fee to $2 and enable the fee to continue indefinitely.

  • Position: Oppose
  • Status: Amended to double the lead acid battery fee and eliminate the date when the fee terminates.

New York – Assembly Bill 2208 | This bill would enact the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act, which establishes labeling requirements for cleaning products that contain hazardous ingredients.

  • Position: Oppose
  • Status: No action to date.

Nevada – Assembly Bill 173 | This bill would prohibit an insurance company from requiring the use of aftermarket parts in collision repair for a vehicle that was manufactured less than 60 months before the date of the damage.

  • Position: Oppose
  • Status: Hearing scheduled for March 13

Arizona – House Bill 2418 | This bill establishes regulations for vehicle data and provides for data submission to third parties.

  • Position: Oppose
  • Status: Amended to strip the submission of telematics and diagnostics data.

Questions? Contact Tom Tucker.


Get the Latest Coverage of the 2020 Elections

Thanks to support from the Auto Care Political Action Committee (ACPAC), we are pleased to bring Capital Report readers the latest Inside Elections with Nathan Gonzalez, a bi-monthly nonpartisan analysis of U.S. elections.

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