Right to Repair Reintroduced in Massachusetts Legislature - aftermarketNews

Right to Repair Reintroduced in Massachusetts Legislature

The bill would require manufacturers to provide the same access to service information and tools that they provide their new car dealer franchises.

From AAIA Capital Report

The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act was introduced in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on Jan. 8 in the House by Rep. Garrett Bradley, and in the Senate on Jan. 14 by Senator Stephen Buoniconti.

The bill would require manufacturers to provide the same access to service information and tools that they provide their new car dealer franchises. Vehicle owners or repairers would be permitted under the newly-filed bill to seek legal redress if they have been denied equal access to information by filing a complaint with the state attorney general’s office. The legislation would also permit the attorney general to bring civil action to enforce the law.

The newly-introduced legislation builds on the momentum gained last year when the bill was passed by the Joint Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. While the bill was placed on the House agenda, it failed to obtain any vote due to budget issues that dominated the final days of the session. 

The bill is backed this year by a broad coalition of aftermarket and business groups, which 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 National Federation of Independent Business; the Massachusetts Retailers Association; the Consumer Electronics Association; and the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality.

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Automakers Ask for More Time in MA Right to Repair Trial

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Underserved, Agricultural, and Rural Business Development will hold a hearing on Right to Repair at 10 a.m. EST on Wed., Sept. 14. 

The status of Massachusetts’ Right to Repair legislation continues to meet delays as a coalition of automakers seeks to overturn the new law approved by a majority of Massachusetts voters in November 2020. 

Approved by an overwhelming 75-25 percent margin in 2020, the new Right to Repair law would require manufacturers to provide vehicle owners both access and control of the diagnostic and repair data generated by their vehicles. Subsequent to the vote, the car company trade group, Alliance for Automotive Innovation filed a lawsuit (Alliance for Automotive Innovation vs. Maura Healey, Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) in November 2020 asking the court to overturn the data access ballot question based on a host of allegations including cybersecurity concerns, insufficient time to comply with the new data access requirements and their contention that the ballot initiative is preempted by federal law. The court case has seen numerous delays over the past two years. 

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