An agreement was reached this past week between auto manufacturers and those who repair commercial trucks to share proprietary information that will allow truck owners third-party mechanics to be able to maintain their vehicles without being forced to return to a dealership.
The so-called “Right To Repair” is a huge win for small fleets, owner operators, and anyone responsible for maintaining their own trucks. Until recently, newer trucks had to be taken back to a dealership to undergo a growing number of repairs due to the increasing complexity of the systems being used.
“With today’s complex, computer-controlled heavy-duty vehicles, having access to the correct information and the latest diagnostic tools is essential to being able to complete repairs for our customers,” said the chairman of the Commercial Right to Repair Coalition.
Since repairs within the dealer network often cost much more than using a local mechanic’s shop, the coalition claimed that some truck owners ended up choosing the cheaper option, and – because the shops didn’t have the proprietary information they needed – the repairs would be sub-par and dangerous.
Another issue with having to stay within the dealer network was that it meant there were too few dealer-licensed shops for the amount of work, resulting in long downtimes for trucks that needed service and lost revenue as a result.
“One of the significant benefits of the [Right to Repair] is that it addresses the unique characteristics of the heavy-duty vehicle manufacturing industry as well as the special needs of independent heavy-duty repair shops,” said the president of the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association. “With that accomplished, we can avoid a patchwork and potentially disruptive effort to regulate service information through government action.”