Gov. Snyder Vetoes Bill Limiting Consumer Auto Parts Choices

HB 4344 would have increased red tape for consumers and businesses

When the Michigan Legislature passes a bill by wide margins, it is usually signed into law, regardless of how good the actual policy is. But a bill that would have discriminated against certain auto parts and added red tape for consumers and businesses was recently vetoed by Gov. Snyder.

As we previously wrote:

Right now, if a Michigan citizen goes to get a car repaired, it is fairly simple for the owner of the vehicle and a mechanic to decide what kind of parts to use to provide the fix. Unless a bill that has passed the Michigan Legislature is vetoed by Gov. Snyder, that process is about to get a lot more complicated.

There are two main types of auto parts: Those made by original equipment manufacturers (OEM) or those made by other companies (aftermarket). By and large, insurance companies, crash tests and research findings do not find a safety difference between the two — but OEM parts are usually significantly more expensive.

Gov. Snyder took heed, vetoing House Bill 4344 with good reason. As Mlive noted:

Groups including the free market think tank The Mackinac Center had been critical of the bill's limitation on aftermarket parts. Jarrett Skorup, policy analyst with the Mackinac Center, said many studies have shown aftermarket parts to be just as safe and often less expensive. "Consumers should have that choice in deciding which auto parts they want to use," Skorup said.

The governor noted in his veto letter that while the bill had some good components, the law would have limited aftermarket parts that have no effect on consumer health and safety. He wrote, “Michigan's aftermarket auto parts industry is strong because of its competition with OEMs. Indeed, by ensuring robust and open competition between OEM parts and aftermarket parts, consumers see the benefits of safety improvements stemming from that competition. Enacting a law to prohibit mechanics from providing high quality and safe alternatives for customers is an inappropriate impediment on the competition that has resulted in both high quality OEM and aftermarket parts for Michigan drivers to enjoy.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.