Heavy-Duty Parts Report Highlights Right to Repair Impact on Trucking Industry

September 13, 2021
By Camille Sheehan

New episode shares latest developments in battle to protect independent repair

BETHESDA, Md. – September 13, 2021 – In a new episode released today, Heavy-Duty Parts Report featured Auto Care Association Vice President of Federal Affairs Gabrielle Hopkins and Total Truck Parts President and CEO Marc Karon and Legislative Affairs Chairman for the Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network to discuss the right to repair battle in Massachusetts and its effect on the heavy duty commercial vehicle industry. Hopkins and Karon joined the show’s host, Jamie Irvine, to share what is at stake for the industry and how members of the industry can personally get involved to secure the industry’s future.

The trucking industry relies on fleets and drivers who conduct their own vehicle repair and maintenance. They also heavily utilize aftermarket parts. Restricting access to independent repair will be highly problematic for long haul trucking if truck runs are delayed because repair and maintenance can no longer be facilitated by independent technicians.

Topics discussed during the podcast episode include:

  • How Right to Repair impacts the trucking industry;
  • History and latest developments of the Right to Repair legislative movement;
  • Advancement of vehicle technology and telematic data;
  • Federal Trade Commission’s latest findings on repair barriers and restrictions;
  • Warranties and how the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act leaves out heavy duty; and
  • Steps the heavy duty industry can take to protect the right to repair.

“Repair restrictions threaten the very future of your business,” said Jaime Irvine, host, Heavy-Duty Parts Report. “We are in a fight for the future of our industry and to preserve the independent service channel and the parts side of the business. This is very important. We need you to take action today.”

Karon provided an overview of how the technological advancements taking place in today’s light weight vehicles are a preview of the changes in store for commercial vehicles in the near future.

“The car manufacturers have begun to put in telematics instead of having a repair port that would allow technicians to hook in,” said Karon. “Whatever happens on the car side, happens on the truck side five to 10 years later. What we’re facing is the prospect of not being able to get access to the repair codes because we won’t have anything to hook into.”

As the Auto Care Association along with CVSN continue the Right to Repair battle in Massachusetts federal court over last November’s successful “Question 1” state ballot initiative, Hopkins explains how the automakers aren’t limiting their efforts at the state level and why the industry needs to approach the vehicle data access issue from multiple fronts, including on Capitol Hill.

“There are over 270 registered lobbyists working for auto manufacturers who are right now on the Hill lobbying against Right to Repair,” said Hopkins. “They’re claiming independent repairs shops have everything they need… Unless we have folks speaking up and representing our side of the story, we’re not going to get the movement we need. We really need as much support as we possibly can to educate the folks on the Hill.”

Hopkins described the active role members of the industry can play in the right to repair fight, including educating members of Congress and sharing the stories of their businesses.

“We need to create buzz around this,” said Hopkins. “Write your member of Congress, share your story, bring your member of Congress in for a tour of your facility, meet your business. The more awareness we can bring to the independent commercial motor vehicle repair industry and this right to repair issue, the better.”

The full interview can be accessed on the Heavy-Duty Parts Report website.

Visit www.heavydutypartsreport.com/rtr to tell Congress to keep trucks on the road.