Focus on Ethics: Right to Repair
Automobiles have become so complicated that mechanics need computers to diagnose problems. Independent car mechanics may have the computers, but they don’t have the codes or tools necessary to diagnose and fix problems on newer model cars. Those are reserved for car makers’ dealerships. Some critics claim that creates an unfair advantage for auto dealerships over independent mechanics and auto-parts retailers and keeps repair prices higher for consumers. The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition put a stop to that by first getting a right to repair initiative on the November 2012 ballot, but it then got the state’s legislature and governor to sign it into law before the vote even took place. In that state, car makers must make the diagnostic information available. On a national level, the Motor Vehicle Owner’s Right to Repair Act was introduced in the House of Representatives in 2011. Of course, automakers and dealerships oppose these initiatives. Opponents claim right to repair initiatives will allow auto-parts makers access to manufacturers’ proprietary information as well as endanger the safety of consumers resulting from possibly faulty repairs. Supporters of the initiatives say manufacturers are just looking to keep their unfair advantage and protect their repair business.
1.Are automobile manufacturers and their dealerships creating an unfair competitive advantage by not sharing information and special tools with independent mechanics?
2.Write an 1 page argument supporting the automakers’ actions.
Preferred language style US English