Why the right to repair cannot be voluntary
For a leader in the automotive aftermarket, the choice is clear: the right to repair must be a legislated solution.
A voluntary agreement won’t work at all, according to Alana Baker, senior director of government relations at the Automotive Industries Association of Canada.
Speaking at the recent webinar hosted by AIA Canada, The data dilemma: who owns the data generated by your car?Baker emphasize the importance of a legally binding agreement over one that is not.
“Any solution based on the notion of voluntary compliance and individual responsibility will not lead to the envisaged and desired results; it will not achieve the intended purpose,” she said towards the end of the webinar which included AIA Canada President JF Champagne, Rick Nadeau, Principal Investigator at Quorus Consulting Group and James Channer, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of In Motion Brands. .
“In fact, we have seen with our own eyes that some notable automakers have refused to join the current voluntary agreement between automakers and the aftermarket, which undermines the effectiveness of the agreement.”
Baker went on to note that experiences from other sectors and other jurisdictions with voluntary agreements cement that this method does not work, citing “alarming” compliance rates.
“So voluntary agreements or memorandums of understanding, if you will, are simply legally non-binding expressions of goodwill. And these types of agreements will not achieve the political goals,” she said.
This is why a legislated solution is the only option the secondary market should pursue. But it must be backed by strong enforcement mechanisms to ensure automakers are held accountable and held accountable for violations.
“I will say, importantly, responsibility and accountability are two key aspects of best practices and policy approaches,” Baker said. “So we have to take them into consideration. And it will also ensure that we can close any long-standing gaps with the current deal in place.
Keep in mind that the research found Canadians overwhelmingly (83 per cent) support right to repair legislation, she added.
“Thus, for a truly open, fair and competitive Canadian automotive aftermarket to continue to exist, consumers must be protected by legislation to reflect the new reality of vehicles in Canada and to give the aftermarket a direct, real-time remote access to diagnostic data and the vehicle itself,” Baker said.