NEWS

Auto Care Association Responds to Librarian of Congress Decision

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015

BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While the Auto Care Association applauds the recent decision by the Librarian of Congress to exempt circumvention of vehicle software by the car owner for the purposes of diagnosis, repair or lawful modification of a vehicle function, there are serious concerns about certain aspects of the decision.

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The association previously submitted comments strongly supporting the petition filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for the exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The comments were based on the association's strong stand that when a consumer purchases a vehicle they purchase everything – the body, seats, engine and the software that is critical to powering the vehicle. Anything less is not in the best of interest of the auto care industry or the car owners.

The Auto Care Association is very concerned that the Librarian did not permit shops to circumvent software on behalf of the car owner. "Clearly, car owners should have the ability to obtain the services of an independent shop for working on their car if they do not have the skills or equipment to properly perform the function themselves," according to the association's official comments. The Auto Care Association also takes issue with the decision to not include telematics or entertainment systems, which are key to ensuring the future of a competitive repair industry.

The decision does not impact the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Auto Care Association and the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality in 2013, which provides a commitment by the vehicle manufacturers to provide all information, tools and software to independent shops for the purposes of diagnosing and repairing the car. However, the decision leaves some issues unresolved regarding access to telematics systems and for shops to provide modifications to vehicle software on behalf of car owners. The association is currently weighing options regarding next steps to address issues that remain unresolved based on the latest decision by the Librarian.

About the Auto Care Association

Based in Bethesda, Md., the Auto Care Association has more than 3,000 member companies that represent some 150,000 independent automotive businesses that manufacture, distribute and sell motor vehicle parts, accessories, tools, equipment, materials and supplies, and perform vehicle service and repair. Visit www.autocare.org.

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SOURCE Auto Care Association