Public and Private Coordination Needed If Auto Repair Problems Are To Be Reduced

HRD-80-30: Published: Jan 11, 1980. Publicly Released: Jan 28, 1980.

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Federal, State, and local officials say that consumer auto repair problems are serious, persistent, and increasing. While many auto repair problems are caused by the increasing complexity of cars and the failure of consumers to properly maintain them, GAO believes that the most direct causes are the shortage of skilled mechanics and unfair or questionable business practices used by some repair facilities.

The Federal Government has done little to reduce auto repair losses. State, local, and industry programs have provided some consumer benefit, but their effectiveness has not been evaluated, and it is not clear which approaches work best. GAO felt that the Federal agencies could do more to reduce consumer auto repair problems by evaluating existing approaches, providing technical and research assistance to State and local governments, and encouraging development of new ideas. However, the most essential Federal role is to coordinate the efforts of the various public and private organizations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is developing such a committee but it lacks congressional input and independent funding and staffing.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: Congress should strengthen the concepts of the Interagency Coordinating Committee by establishing the Committee as a national auto repair coordinating committee. This new committee would evaluate the effectiveness of current efforts to reduce consumers' auto repair problems and identify areas for future support. In addition, Congress should: expand the Committee's objectives to cover more than just Federal programs and activities; encourage State and local governments, consumer groups, and private industry to actively participate in the committee; direct the Federal agencies to make firm commitments to support the committee; and provide adequate resources to operate the committee.

 

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