Right to Repair for Heavy Duty Vehicles Too

Posted by Kathleen Schmatz on October 01, 2012

Since the recent landmark passage of Right to Repair legislation in Massachusetts, I have been asked why heavy duty vehicles were excluded. Well, it wasn't an easy decision, especially due to AAIA’s historic support for heavy duty independent service providers to have full access to service information and tools for heavy duty vehicles.

Back in the late 1990s, AAIA successfully obtained passage of requirements that heavy duty engine manufacturers share all emissions-related information and tools with independents. This mandate will take effect once on-board diagnostic requirements, promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, expand from light duty vehicles to include heavy duty vehicles beginning in 2013. The bottom line is that due to these efforts, as early as next year, those companies servicing heavy duty vehicles will enjoy the same benefits as light duty shops in obtaining access to emissions-related information and tools.

While we had originally hoped that heavy duty vehicles also would be included in the Massachusetts legislation, it became clear as we moved closer to an agreement with the car companies that the model of information and software sharing we were developing would need to be different for heavy duty vehicles. And while legislators had been well educated on issues involving light vehicles, they were resistant to delve into the heavy duty industry which threatened to slow down or halt the momentum we had built.

So we decided to remove heavy duty vehicles from the Right to Repair bill. But let me assure everyone that we are extremely concerned about the absence of information and tools to repair heavy duty vehicles, and we are working to ensure that the law will extend to the heavy duty industry either through an agreement with the engine manufacturers or through passage of a new law.