The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the light vehicle aftermarket division of MEMA, held a high-level policy panel discussion yesterday in Washington, D.C., addressing the complexities and emerging issues related to access to data collected by cars.
The panel discussion, “Who Owns Your Car’s Data,” was held at the Capitol Visitors Center. More than 20 legislative staff members and industry leaders attended. A lively question-and-answer period was held after a 45-minute panel discussion.
Panelists included MEMA President and CEO Bill Long, who also serves as AASA president and COO; Auto Care Association President and CEO Bill Hanvey; Marc Fleischaker, Arent Fox chair emeritus, and MEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Ann Wilson.
“What is at risk is motorists’ freedom of choice and retaining their right to decide where they want their vehicle repairs,” said Long. “Lack of access to vehicle data threatens that right. It should be the motor vehicle owner’s choice. They should have the right to decide.”
This event was part of the ongoing effort by MEMA and AASA to educate policy makers about access to motor vehicle data and the risks that limiting access would create. Many consumers and legislators alike do not realize that their cars are collecting data and that restrictions to data access may result in losing the ability to choose a repair shop. MEMA and AASA support policies that allow access to vehicle data and software that promote affordability, convenience and a competitive market for vehicle servicing. The May 15 discussion was intended to highlight some of those policies and outline concerns that should be considered as lawmakers move forward with an infrastructure bill.
The event was part of MEMA’s Policy Breakfast Series launched in 2017. The series aims to highlight and explain the complexities of critical issues that affect the motor vehicle supplier industry. In recent months MEMA has addressed topics including tax reform, the new North American trade deal, workforce development and emissions standards. With these events, MEMA and AASA has earned a leadership role for the industry and has established a meaningful voice on issues in Washington.