N.J. looks at expanding consumers’ options for car repairs

     N.J. looks at expanding consumers' options for car repairs (<a href=Photo via ShutterStock) " title="shutterstock_26222953x338" width="600" height="334"/>

    N.J. looks at expanding consumers' options for car repairs (Photo via ShutterStock)

    New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would give consumers more of a choice in where to get their cars repaired.

    The measure would require vehicle manufacturers to provide the codes needed to match parts with a car’s computer so replacement parts can function properly.

    Without access to those codes, independent shops can’t make all repairs, according to Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience Store and Automotive Association.”I can come to the car dealership, purchase the part, and put in the car, and the car won’t run at all because I need the code to marry that part to the car,” he said.

    Because many independent repair shops can’t afford to pay to get that information, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora said, it forces drivers to go to dealerships.

    “Dealership repairs are much more expensive than mom and pop service stations,” said Gusciora, D-Mercer. “This essentially frees the car owner so that you’re free to take it to the dealership or you can take it to a general auto mechanic.”

    Massachusetts is the first state to require the code information be made available.

    Lobbyists for the automakers are pushing for a nationwide solution instead of having differing requirements state by state.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal