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Tesla & Rivian back independent auto repairer, OEM groups’ R2R agreement

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Business Practices | Repair Operations
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Rivian and Tesla shared Thursday in separate letters that they support a “right to repair (R2R)” agreement made last month between the Alliance of Automotive Innovation (Auto Innovators), the Automotive Service Association (ASA), and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS).

Auto Innovators, ASA, and SCRS represent thousands in the automotive and collision repair industries from OEMs to repairers. The groups wrote in their “Automotive Repair Data Sharing Commitment” that they recognize and reaffirm the belief that consumers should have safe and proper repair access for a vehicle throughout its lifecycle. It also backs a 2014 memorandum of understanding between OEMs and independent repairers to ensure equal repair access.

The groups agree that equal repair access already exists through — a site created by OEMs — that pulls repair information from dozens of automakers, now including Tesla and Rivian. 

Their agreement was written in response to R2R developments across the U.S. and Canada that accuse OEMs of limiting access to their repair information, tools, and equipment to dealerships and certified shops. It was shared with Congress and ASA testified during a Congressional hearing on the issue.

Rivian Chief Policy Officer Alan Hoffman wrote in the company’s letter that it currently supports third-party collision centers by providing access to its repair manuals, service parts, tools, and training so Rivian vehicles can be repaired safely.

“Rivian intends to leverage similar approaches as we increase third-party and do-it-yourself options,” the letter says. “Finally, Rivian aims to lead in self-repair by developing features which enable third parties and individuals to increasingly perform service on Rivian vehicles.

“Rivian is committed to the safe service and operation of its vehicles, and we will use this as a primary design principle when enabling do-it-yourself and manuals, guides, tools, and third-party services.”

The OEM also notes in its letter that it’s growing its network of third-party Rivian-certified collision centers and offers several third-party services including:

    • Nationwide wheel and tire service through a certified national provider, which it didn’t name;
    • Options for third-party glass repair and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) calibration;
    • Nationwide emergency roadside assistance, 24/7/365 through third-party tow providers; and
    • Third-party and self-service options for entry-level/commoditized repairs on its commercial vehicles.

In its letter, Tesla Public Policy and Business Development Vice President Rohan Patel wrote that the company agrees with the standards the trade groups have committed to and is happy to support the effort.

“Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy includes empowering independent repairers to service electric vehicles as the global fleet grows,” Patel wrote. “Through a comprehensive library of publicly available manuals and guides, Tesla already provides extensive information for independent and do-it-yourself repairers.

“Current Tesla owners have numerous options to repair their vehicles at commercial repair facilities, including Tesla-operated repair facilities, Tesla-affiliated repair facilities, independent repair facilities, and national chains of repair providers. Additionally, a Tesla owner can conduct a range of services on their own vehicles from routine work utilizing Tesla’s Do-It-Yourself Guides, to more complex repairs described in repair manuals.”

When sharing Rivian’s and Tesla’s letters with the press, Auto Innovators noted that the agreement states, “independent repair facilities shall have access to the same diagnostic and repair information that auto manufacturers make available to authorized dealer networks.”

Auto Innovators then added, “There’s a lot of noise out there but remember this: automotive right-to-repair already exists. Seventy percent of post-warranty automotive work today is handled by the independent repair community; was created by automakers for repair technicians to find repair and diagnostic information on most vehicles (and now INCLUDES Tesla and Rivian); and the Federal Trade Commission — government’s top consumer protection and competition agency — has cited the automotive industry as an example of the repair aftermarket ‘working well.'”


Featured image: Stock photo provided by Ivan-balvan/iStock

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