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Are Fewer Independent Shops Able to Service Today’s Vehicles?

Independent repair shop owners in the Bradenton, FL, area are concerned that vehicle owners will soon be forced to take their vehicles back to the dealerships because independent shops will no longer being able to service today’s high-tech vehicles. One shop owner estimates that he already sends 10 percent of his customers back to dealerships.

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Independent repair shop owners in the Bradenton, FL, area are concerned that vehicle owners will soon be forced to take their vehicles back to the dealerships because independent shops will no longer being able to service today’s high-tech vehicles. One shop owner estimates that he already sends 10 percent of his customers back to dealerships.

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Below is the article as it appeared on the Bradenton Herald website.

Mechanics seek fair access to automakers’ repair codes

By GRACE GAGLIANO
Published: Saturday, Aug. 07, 2010

Chuck Mattingly, owner of Mattingly's Auto Services, says he loses about 10 percent of prospective customers because manufacturers won't release key instructions and codes that auto shops need to fix newer models. A federal bill up for consideration called the Right to Repair Act would require manufacturers to release that information.BRADENTON — Marc Guttentag estimates about 10 percent of the vehicles that come through his Bradenton auto shop have to be turned over to a dealership for repair.

As more modern vehicles are controlled by computers and electronics, fewer independent service centers have the capability to repair them.

Mechanics say that’s because manufacturers aren’t disclosing the diagnostics and software required to make repairs. Automakers, however, say they have a right to protect proprietary information from widespread distribution.

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Legislation before the U.S. Senate — the Right to Repair Act — seeks to settle the issue by siding with repair shops and requiring automakers to provide vehicle owners and service providers complete access to safety and repair information.

Mechanics can now connect a laptop to an automotive computer that will diagnose the problem for a fee, but the bill would allow access to all coding needed in automotive repair.

“If things don’t change, everybody’s going to be having to take their cars to the dealerships,” said Guttentag, owner of Marc’s Auto Repair & Service, at 1218 29th Ave. W. “And I don’t think too many people relish the thought of having to bring their car to the dealership.”

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To read the entire article, visit the Bradenton Herald website at http://www.bradenton.com/2010/08/07/2489710/mechanics-seek-fair-access-to.html.

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