House committee to consider PARTS Act for autos

Supporters have said the current situation in collision auto repair provides an unfair monopoly to primary automakers.

Auto manufacturers have said the patents allow them to ensure the quality of parts that are used to repair their cars.

The bill has also been supported by the auto insurance industry. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America has said the measure would provide "costumer choice" in auto repairs.

"PCI is working to ensure that your insurance company can continue to provide you with information and repair options that have a track record of providing quality repairs, lifetime warranties and a hassle-free claims process," the organization says on its website. "As a customer service, many insurers establish relationships, sometimes called 'direct repair networks,' with dependable, quality-oriented repair shops."

The group that is advocate for the bill, the Quality Parts Coalition, counters on its website that "[M]ajor car companies are trying to squash competition and force consumers to buy their higher-cost parts when less expensive quality alternatives are readily available."

The House hearing on the PARTS Act is scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.