The Motor Vehicle Owner's Right to Repair Act of 2001 H.R. 2735

Modern automobiles contain advanced technology that monitors or controls virtually every function of the vehicle including: the braking system, steering mechanism, air bags, fuel delivery, ignition, lubrication, emission controls and soon, tire pressure.

Car owners and independent shops must have full access to the information, parts and tools necessary to accurately diagnose, repair, or re-program these systems. This information and equipment is necessary to ensure vehicle safety, performance, and environmental compliance.

By restricting access to such information, car manufacturers force motorists bypass independent repairers and patronize new car dealerships, which may not be convenient, accessible or otherwise desirable to the car owner. Moreover, the lack of competition will inevitably lead to the failure of many independent garages and the companies that supply them. Restricting consumer choice will also inevitably lead to higher repair prices.

The Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act prevents vehicle manufacturers and others from unfairly restricting access to the information, parts and tools necessary to accurately diagnose, repair, re-program or install automotive replacement parts.

The Act ensures that motorists retain the right to choose the repair shop and replacement parts necessary to properly service and maintain their vehicles.

Finally, it promotes consumer safety and environmental compliance by allowing qualified owners and mechanics to repair, replace or re-program computers and other components that control critical automotive systems such as anti-lock brakes, airbags, emission controls.

The legislation does this without requiring car manufacturers to divulge proprietary information or trade secrets.

Facts about the Motor Vehicle Owner's Right to Repair Act:

  • Introduced in the House of Representatives on August 2, 2001 by Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Edolphus Towns (D-NY).
  • Referred to the House Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
  • Introduced in the Senate on June 13, 2002 by Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-ND).
  • Referred to the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs, Foreign Commerce and Tourism of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Here are some things you can do to support the effort to get this important legislation signed into law:

In-District Meetings
AAIA and its state association allies regularly conduct meetings in the home district between members of the aftermarket and their elected officials. Contact the AAIA office for a list of upcoming meetings.

Meet with Congress in Washington, D.C.
If you plan to visit Washington, DC or the surrounding area, contact the AAIA Government Affairs staff and we will be happy to set up a meeting between you and your Congressman.

  • Click here to see a schedule of upcoming meetings.
  • Click here to see a roster of the House Sub-Committee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
  • Click here to see a roster of the Senate Sub-Committee on Consumer Affairs, Foreign Commerce & Tourism.
  • Click here to see a list of co-sponsors for H.R. 2735.
  • Click here to see a list of co-sponsors for S.2617.

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Contact your members of Congress
Send a letter to your Representative and Senators to inform them of the Motor Vehicle Owner's Right to Repair Act. Let them know how this legislation will help you and other constituents who depend on their vehicles in their everyday lives.


  • Click here to download text of H.R. 2735 (.pdf/36KB).
  • Click here to download text of S.2617 (.pdf/36 KB).
  • Click here to download a fact sheet on H.R. 2735 and S.2617.
  • See related Capital Report Articles: November 2001, October 2001, May 2001, February 2001, January 2001, April 2002, June 2002, July 2002.
  • Read statements by Reps. Barton (.pdf/47 KB) and Towns (.pdf/59 KB) on H.R. 2735.
  • Read statements by Sen. Paul Wellstone on S.2617.
  • See related article in USA Today, August 29, 2001, pg. 1B: "When Autos Need Repair, Where? Increased Complexity Fuels Dealer, Independent Competition" by Earle Eldridge.

For more information on this issue, contact the APSA Government Affairs Department at 301-986-1500 or