AASP/MA Comments on Overwhelming Right to Repair Ballot Victory

AASP/MA Comments on Right to Repair Ballot Victory

The measure will improve the independent automotive repair and service industry's access to OEM repair information.

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP/MA) applauds the more than two million voters who ensured passage of a critical ballot measure to strengthen and revise the state’s existing Right to Repair Law.

The measure will improve the independent automotive repair and service industry’s access to OEM repair information through the following provision (presented here with minor edits):

Commencing in model year 2022 and thereafter, a manufacturer of motor vehicles sold in the Commonwealth, including heavy-duty vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 14,000 pounds, that utilizes a telematics system shall be required to equip such vehicles with an inter-operable, standardized and open access platform across all of the manufacturer’s makes and models. Such platform shall be capable of securely communicating all mechanical data emanating directly from the motor vehicle via direct data connection to the platform. Such platform shall be directly accessible by the owner of the vehicle through a mobile-based application and, upon the authorization of the vehicle owner, all mechanical data shall be directly accessible by an independent repair facility or a class 1 dealer licensed pursuant to section 58 of chapter 140 limited to the time to complete the repair or for a period of time agreed to by the vehicle owner for the purposes of maintaining, diagnosing and repairing the motor vehicle. Access shall include the ability to send commands to in-vehicle components if needed for purposes of maintenance, diagnostics and repair.

“This is an extraordinary win for independent automotive service and collision repair facilities in the Commonwealth,” said Evangelos “Lucky” Papageorg, executive director of AASP/MA. “The Right to Repair law was overwhelmingly supported in 2012; however, it needed updating due to advances in technology. On behalf of the vehicle owner – and to protect our own liability in the repair process – it is critical that both collision repairers and independent automotive service professionals have access to the most current mechanical and diagnostic data available. This information is vital to enable proper repair and guarantee proper functionality of all the computerized functions of today’s vehicle.”

AASP/MA was one of the original 10 signers on the petition to create the ballot question.

“Without access to the most current information, independent shop members of AASP/MA are currently unable to accurately diagnose, repair, recalibrate and verify that all functions are operating properly before returning the vehicle to the owner,” said Papageorg. “This victory at the polls will go a long way in solving that issue for our association membership and the independent Massachusetts automotive repair and service industry at-large.”

Already a years-long advocate for Right to Repair, AASP/MA has been a particularly ardent supporter of the movement throughout 2020. Earlier this year, Papageorg appeared before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Consumer Protection to urge its support of House Bill 4122, legislation designed to achieve the same goals as the ballot initiative.

For more information on AASP/MA, visit aaspma.org.

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