Dear Reader,

Your check engine light comes on. What do you do?  You think of your local repair shop.  But that’s not an option.


Many car manufacturers have made it so that the dealership is the only one who can tell what’s wrong with your vehicle. Wireless technologies have allowed automakers to be gatekeepers of vital repair information. The check engine light comes on. You know there’s a problem, but the dealership is the only one who has access to the diagnostic codes that tell you what’s really going on.

Service technicians at your local mechanic shop will tell you that just because you’re in the driver’s seat doesn’t mean you’re in control if there is a problem with your car. You don’t get to make decisions about how it’s taken care of or who takes care of it. This is not fair to you.  If your car breaks down, automakers direct you to the dealership. This is not always the best option. The dealership can let your vehicle sit for days, weeks, or even months, and you can’t have it repaired quicker somewhere else.

A bill currently in Congress may change this.

The Right to Repair Bill gives customers information about their vehicles and other products, such as smartphones and computers, and just as importantly, gives you a choice of where you can go for repairs.  These options save time, money, and aggravation.  The cost of repair, on average, is 36% less in an independent aftermarket shop than in the dealership, and these shops can prioritize your vehicle, decreasing your wait time.

Technology is integrated into every aspect of our lives now.  The “Right to Repair” bill aims to protect consumer rights and promote safety in our homes, in our vehicles, and on the roads. The Right to Repair bill is an empowering piece of legislation that helps individuals, independent repair shops, and small businesses by granting access to the information, tools, and parts necessary to repair vehicles and other products.

Key provisions of the Right to Repair bill include:

  • Access to Information: Manufacturers must provide access to repair manuals, diagnostic information, and software tools to independent repair shops and consumers. This opens up the resources you need to maintain and repair your vehicles or products.
  • Parts Availability: The bill addresses the availability of replacement parts, making it easier to access genuine or compatible parts, promoting competition, and reducing repair costs.
  • Consumer Empowerment: The Right to Repair bill gives you more control over your maintenance and repair options. It reduces reliance on manufacturers and authorized repair providers, offering a cost-effective alternative.

What This Bill Means for You

The Right to Repair bill means you get to save money by choosing independent repair providers or by performing repairs yourself rather than relying on manufacturers’ authorized repair services. With more choices of where and how you repair your vehicle comes more convenience and the ability to choose local repair shops instead of having to drive across town to the dealership.

Cars and trucks on the road today are heavily reliant on technology, and access to repair information and parts is crucial for safety on the road. Regardless of whether you choose a dealership or an independent shop for vehicle maintenance, you must prioritize your safety.

Regular vehicle maintenance and repairs:

  • Ensure the safety and reliability of your vehicle.
  • Detect and address potential defects or safety issues.
  • Extend the lifespan of your vehicle.
  • Save you money in the long run.

At my law offices, your safety is my priority. If you or someone you care about has ever been injured due to a vehicle defect or the negligence of another person, I’m here to help. Call me at 703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515.

Until next time,

Please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow

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