BOSTON — A coalition representing more than 1,500 independent automotive repair shops and related industries says it will push for passage of the Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act, a bill intended to guarantee equal access to automotive repair information for independent repairers and their customers. The legislation puts independent repairers on equal footing with dealer repair shops for access to repair information.
The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition says the need for passage of the legislation is greater than ever as more consumers choose to repair – rather than replace – their cars amid an economy and an automobile industry in freefall.
The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition includes the New England Service Station Automotive Repair Association, the Massachusetts Auto Body Association, the Massachusetts Independent Automobile Dealers Association and the New England Tire & Service Association. Also supporting the Right to Repair movement in Massachusetts is the National Federation of Independent Business, the Massachusetts Retailers Association, the Consumer Electronics Association, the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality and the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association.
"Consumers want the right to decide where to have their cars serviced," said Ernie Corrigan, spokesman for the Coalition. There are more than 5 million cars registered in Massachusetts that need easily accessible and affordable service. "If car manufacturers can dictate where you have your car repaired then you have lost your right to choose. After all, who owns your car?" Corrigan said.
The coalition says the independent repair industry has voluntarily inserted legislative language that excludes car manufacturers’ trade secrets from being conveyed to repairers as part of the information stream a key complaint of automakers opposed to the bill.
After winning support from two key legislative committees this year, the Right to Repair bill remains alive until the end of the year, at which point it will be re-filed in January.