Open Letter to Congress

Open Letter to Congress

Your Money or Your Life

Dear Members of the United States Congress,

I am writing this open letter to express my strong opposition to H.R. 1879 and S. 812, Promoting Automotive Repair Trade and Sales Act of 2017, also known as the PARTS Act. I am especially disappointed in U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and lead sponsors U.S. Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), with original cosponsors Reps. Blake Farentold (R-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Scott Perry (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) who have put their names in support of this bill.

I am the current very proud owner of Nylund’s Collision Center located in Englewood, Colorado.

I oppose the Parts Act for the following reasons:

A. The language of the PARTS Act completely ignores the value of established patent law, specifically as it relates to the investment in design, manufacture and especially safety testing of vehicles that are built as an entire unit to work seamlessly with all other parts of the same vehicle.

B. The language of the PARTS Act suggests that it is against, or ignorant of the safety of the consumer who would – in an effort to save money – purchase parts that may appear to be “similar or the same in appearance to the component part”. Failure of an imitation part that appears to be the same after an accident could put the lives of the vehicle’s occupants at risk.

  1. Appearing similar or same in appearance is not the same as being the same.
  2. Aftermarket component parts are not subject to the same crashworthiness tests as OEM parts
  3. Aftermarket component parts are manufactured, sold and certified as individual parts and have no collaborative data nor accountability to all associated parts of the vehicle which is designed to work together as a whole unit.

C. The PARTS Act is a blatant attempt to boost the profit margins of the insurance companies and their associated partners, lobbyists and the manufacturers and distributors of aftermarket parts.

  1. Under the guise of protecting the consumer’s wallet, no consideration is offered to the actual costs of manufacture.
  2. The only beneficiaries are those who stand to gain the most – and they are the insurance companies, manufacturers and distributors of aftermarket parts.

D. Accountability to safety is obfuscated by the pursuit of profits.

  1. Who will oversee the manufacturers’ production and at what expense?
  2. Where will the money come from to assure the consumer that aftermarket parts are in fact now identical to OEM parts?

The words, “Your Money or Your Life” used to be uttered by muggers in a dark alleyway. Today, they’re being uttered by members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, along with their posse of special interest lobbyists and associations. The consequences in the balance are the same now as they were then.

Please make this letter part of the record of any hearings on H.R. 1879 and/or S. 812.

I urge you to consider the value of life above the value of insurance company profits.

I urge you to vote against H.R. 1879 and S. 812 – and vote for the lives of the people who voted for you.

Note: I am calling upon my own state Senators & Congressmen (Cory Gardner and Michael Bennett / Jared Polis, Mike Coffman, Diana DeGette, Scott Tipton, Ken Buck, Ed Perlmutter and Doug Lamborn) to vote NO on H.R. 1879 and S. 812.

Resources:
Who Should Be Held Responsible?
We Fight Because #YourLivesMatter

Aftermarket-centered PARTS Act back for new Congress

An open letter to Langevin and Whitehouse