Consumers Should Not Stress Out If Their Dealership Closes

130,000 Independent Repair Shops Positioned to Meet Service & Repair Needs

BETHESDA, Md., June 4 Vehicle owners should not stress out about where they will get service and repair if their local new car dealership closes, advises the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). More than 130,000 independent repair shops, conveniently located in most every community nationwide, have access to the parts for all vehicles, as well as the required professional technicians, tools and equipment.

Independent repair businesses account for more than 70 percent of vehicle service and repair, compared to 28 percent of non-warranty repairs by new car dealerships. Even before the rash of dealership closings, the number of dealerships and their share of the service and repair market have gradually declined each year since 2000, according to AAIA.

"There is a lot of confusion and anxiety among consumers these days about seeking quality service and repair for their vehicle," said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. "Vehicle owners need to look no further than their own community to find a reputable repair shop to care for their vehicle and protect the warranty."

The Car Care Council reported recently that, "It's a myth that only new car dealers can service vehicles under warranty." Consumers are protected by a law -- the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act -- that prohibits a vehicle manufacturer from voiding the vehicle warranty because service was done by a non-dealer.

In April, Consumer Reports stated, "Legally, you can have maintenance performed by any mechanic without affecting your warranty. Just keep thorough records in case of a warranty claim. The only services that need to be performed at a dealership are warranty repairs, recalls or post-warranty work that you want the manufacturer to pay for."

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