House bill would force automakers to share repair technology

Towns's description of the Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act said the legislation is needed because cars are becoming more sophisticated, and yet automakers have become "more and more reluctant to provide the necessary information, tools, and codes to repair their automobiles to mom and pop repair shops." It said automakers also restrict repair information to authorized dealers, which forces consumers to get repairs that are "often more expensive."

Under the bill, H.R. 1449, automakers would have a "duty to disclose information" pertinent to repair and maintenance," would have a "duty to make tools available," and would have to make replacement equipment available.

The bill would allow the FTC to enforce these rules, and also allow states to bring civil action to "obtain damages, restitution, or other compensation on behalf of residents of the State."