Ottawa, Ontario – The “Right to Repair” bill, which will require automakers to make information, software and tools available to independent repair shops and allow them to service newer, more sophisticated vehicles, has passed the second reading vote in the House of Commons.

The private member’s bill, Bill C-273, was introduced two years ago by Brian Masse, New Democrat industry and auto sector critic. The bill passed by a vote of 247 to 18.

A similar bill is gaining ground in the U.S. Congress, while the European Union passed a “right to repair” law almost two years ago.

In response to the bill’s passage, which still needs to go through several phases before it becomes law, Canada’s automobile manufacturers and distributors said they have confirmed a pledge to create a voluntary agreement with independent vehicle repair shops to provide access to service information, diagnostic tools and training.

“The vehicle manufacturers and distributors have overcome some major hurdles to get to a position where we can address legitimate service, repair, training and tooling information needs of the automotive aftermarket through a voluntary solution,” said Mark Nantais, president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA). “When Bill C-273 was first introduced, our industry was challenged by the Minister of Industry to develop a voluntary framework to address the concerns being raised by the aftermarket automotive industry. We have responded aggressively and positively towards creating this voluntary framework that will ensure that all automotive manufacturers are providing this information in the near future. In fact, many companies are already making this information available today.”

Masse said that a law is needed, instead of voluntary compliance. “Today, the House of Commons chose to side with every vehicle owner in the country, with protecting the environment, with the public’s safety instead of a group of foreign companies,” he said. “No environmental or consumer protection rule is voluntary. No public safety measure is voluntary. A law is the only real protection for vehicle owners that is available. Bill C-273 provides for Canadians to make those decisions.”

Connect with Autos.ca