U.S. House Subcommittee Examines Access to Auto Repair Technology

(source: ASA press release)

Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2004 - The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protections held a hearing titled "Repairing the 21st Century Car: Is Technology Locking the Consumer Out?" Sept. 22 in Washington, D.C.

Testifying for the Automotive Service Association (ASA) were Bill Haas, AAM, ASA's vice president of service repair markets, and Donny Seyfer, AAM, ASA-Colorado member.

Haas demonstrated how the manufacturers' Web sites operate. Donny Seyfer testified to his experience as a shop owner and the ease with which he has used these Web sites to gain access to service information.

"Many shops across the country are still not using the huge amount of information that continues to grow on a daily basis. Often it is due to a fear that it will take too long or that they will not find the information they need," said Seyfer. "My experience has been that, yes, there will be a learning curve because each manufacturer has a corporate culture that delivers their service information in somewhat different ways. The fact that is too often discounted is that technicians are highly skilled and adaptive individuals. If they give it a chance they will be using these tools with confidence in no time."

ASA, auto manufacturers, new car dealers and members of the aftermarket formed the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) in 2000 to address service information, training and tool issues.

In 2002, ASA and the automakers reached an agreement to provide service information to the independent automotive repair industry. NASTF serves as a conduit for repairers to make the manufacturers aware of any problems or concerns with emissions and non-emissions service information. From Jan. 1, 2004, to Sept. 20, 2004, NASTF received 33 complaints and automobile manufacturers have responded to 31 of those complaints.

No reproduction, in print, electronic or any form without the expressed written permission of
Key Communications Inc. 540-720-5584.