Neighborhood repair shops are sometimes ill equipped to fix vehicles equipped with on-board computers and other complex technology. In response to this, New Jersey lawmakers want to require carmakers to give owners, repair facilities and the state all the information needed to diagnose, service and fix any vehicle, The Associated Press
reports. The bill, which is opposed by manufacturers, cleared an Assembly committee in mid-October. Automakers and dealers have been fighting a similar bill in Congress and have begun battling New Jersey's effort, according to The Associated Press
. Auto mechanics say they have problems making repairs because they can't get information from the computers, taking more time to return the car to customers and impairing the mechanic’s credibility. According to representatives from the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, there is no overwhelming consumer call for the law and the legislation would hurt dealers and manufacturers, who would be forced to give up intellectual property to their competitors. The groups say independent mechanics can get technology data through training and buying special tools and services, while manufacturers want to protect pollution control, anti-theft and other technologies.