Drivers readying for the polls - All candidates asked to take action to protect consumer choice!

    OTTAWA, Sept. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Candidates in this Federal Election are
being asked to voice their support for the driving public's right to choose
where they go for repairs or maintenance for their vehicles. Consumers want
this choice. They don't want the vehicle manufacturers forcing that decision
upon them.
    Increasingly the automotive public is driving home this message. Drivers
are supporting the 410,000 technicians and independent business operators of
the automotive aftermarket industry calling upon their local candidates to
commit to this fundamental consumer right.
    Manufacturers' restrictions will soon limit marketplace competition and
add to the personal cost to own and operate a car or truck, whether new or
used. Some vehicle manufacturers are restricting access to the tools, training
and technology needed in order to keep vehicles running safely and in line
with environmental standards. Vehicle manufacturers such as Chrysler, Ford,
Honda or Toyota are forcing consumers to their own franchised dealerships for
maintenance; stripping the public of the right to choose who services their
vehicle. The public deserves better. They deserve the right to choose where
and when to have their vehicle serviced or repaired.
    Candidates need to state their position on this, and the government needs
to be involved. As one auto repair shop owner describes, "There is a double
standard. The same vehicle manufacturers already make On Board Diagnostics
information available to our American counterparts, but they shut us down as
soon as they learn that we are using a Canadian e-mail address!" Drivers lose
and independent auto shops are at risk - how can that be good for competition
or the economy?
    Marc Brazeau, President of the Automotive Industries Association of
Canada comments, "Why is it that some manufacturers respect the Canadian
public's right to this repair information and yet others continue to drag
their feet. Our members are prepared to invest in the technology, tools and
training. Consumers are making their views known and they want to make their
own choice."
    According to J.D. Power and Associates, aftermarket repair and service
facilities consistently outperform dealerships in customer satisfaction.
"Consumers want choice and based on the 2008 Canadian Customer Commitment
Study, consumers prefer to have their vehicles serviced at a non-dealership
facility," added Brazeau.
    Drivers don't want to be stranded with increased costs, risks and
inconvenience. Brazeau calls attention to the hundreds of comments from the
driving public in response to a recent Globe and Mail article; "The public
sentiment is clear - they want their candidates to support the right of
    Let the candidates know you care... As a vehicle owner or driver, honk if
you value choice!

    About The Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA)

    AIA is a national trade association representing the automotive
aftermarket industry in Canada. The aftermarket is a $16.7 billion industry.
Through AIA members and industry partners the aftermarket industry represents
more than 410,000 workers. The industry is composed of companies that
manufacture, distribute and install automotive replacement parts, accessories,
tools, and equipment.
    AIA represents manufacturers, rebuilders, manufacturers' agents,
warehouse distributors, national distributors, buying groups, wholesalers,
machine shops, retailers, and through its councils, the interests of collision
repair shops and automotive service and repair outlets.

For further information:

For further information: Scott Smith, Director, Government & Industry
Relations, Automotive Industries Association of Canada, (800) 808-2920 ext.
234;; Visit the Right to Repair website at for more information

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