As cars become more advanced and complex with each passing year, it has now reached a point where car owners must seek or get repair work done at a new car dealership. They do not have the choice of many repairs at regular repair shops or similar as they do not have access to the technology that can read the newer computers and service information. Without this an effective repair and diagnosis cannot be done. This has become a great money making opportunity for the car dealers and their manufacturers to effectively monopolize the repair market and jack up prices on parts and services. This is why there is a new bill that, if congress passes it, will change this and make car repairs and service a more affordable option.
Since congress instituted the anti trust legislation which encourages fair trade and business practices (some companies like Microsoft still try to ride the extreme edge of these laws) most businesses have complied. Some companies, though, when afforded an opportunity to make extra cash (and lots of it) by stifling the competition and artificially raising prices and entrapping customers (can we say illegal monopoly) run at the opportunity. Companies like the auto manufacturers of today have currently done with the with holding of crucial technology and information systems to regular or non name repair shops. This effectively makes it so that you the consumer immediately have a greatly reduced choice of where you can go for repairs and service.
That is not fair, causes unfair competition and business hurdles, drives up prices and, most importantly, is highly illegal. Yes, the big auto manufacturers are currently spending millions on high paid lobbying firms in Washington to get the bill and subsequent legislation squashed or at least greatly reduced. This is how business is done in Washington and on the federal level. Its called pork barrel politics and it is not about what is fair and good for the consumer. Many times a well intentioned bill, funding or similar gets squashed or minimized to the point where it either does not have any effect or, in some places, the complete opposite results.
Case in point, the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) was brought about to tax the rich more and in the end it actually does not touch the rich and entraps many members of the middle class. The rich can afford big lawyers and lobbyists and literally get away with murder (for a great example just look at O.J. Simpson and his dream team with Cochran and others). They can get a presidential pardon for donating $500,000 or so to a presidents memorial library fund or similar (just look at the list of people that Bill Clinton pardoned on his way out of the presidency (one was an automotive and NASCAR magnate with over 50 felony charges and all were pardoned away)!
Why I am telling you this is because the Right To Repair Act is another very well intentioned bill that will lower automotive repair costs as it encourages healthy competition. It will make the auto manufacturers release codes, technical data and equipment to the entire repair industry. It will allow you to get your car or truck serviced wherever you like. You should be able to get your car serviced wherever you like and, if you feel adept enough or properly trained, to work on it yourself.
The automotive industry wants it squashed as they are now literally allowed to have a monopoly on where their car owners go for service. A monopoly on service and related auto repairs means a financial windfall for all involved except the consumer. Just go to your local car dealership and have something simple and what you would think cheap to repair diagnosed. See what the service advisor tells you. You will almost pass out. On average new car dealer service departments charge twice what your local service shop does. And they routinely recommend things that are not necessary or needed.
The car manufacturers argument is that they have the best training and can best work on your car so it helps the consumer. This is simply not true. I actually worked at numerous car dealerships for many years and have seen many gaffs, mistakes, and acts of stupidity done by the service departments. The same mechanics that work at your local car dealership actually are no better qualified then your local mechanics with the same training (ASE and similar).
Why can I say this? Because they are the exact SAME mechanics. Where do you think the car dealership mechanics go when they finally get tired of being lied to and having their pay cut or a performance bonus missed while the car dealer and general managers are just banking it. They leave and go to regular service shops and some go out on their own and launch their own repair shop or service station. Many of these service shops have stringent training requirements that exceed your state requirements and even that of the new car dealerships.
So, basically it is up to you. This is a bill that will help you and save you money.