Massachusetts Right to Repair

WHAT THE ISSUE IS

This November, Massachusetts voters will have the opportunity to vote for a ballot initiative that would provide them with access to their mechanical data and would permit them to share that data with the repair shop of their choice. Specifically, this ballot initiative would require:

  1. Prospective owners of motor vehicles to receive a notice when they purchase a vehicle that includes an explanation of motor vehicle telematics and its purposes, a description summarizing the mechanical data collected, stored, and transmitted by a telematics system and the owner’s ability to access the vehicle’s mechanical data through a mobile device and owner’s right to authorize an independent shop to access the mechanical data for the purposes of diagnostics repair and maintenance.
  2. Beginning with model year 2022, all manufacturers that utilize telematics systems to equip their vehicles with “an inter-operable, standardized and open access platform that is capable of securely communicating all mechanical data emanating directly from the motor vehicle via direct data connection to the platform.”
  3. Access to on-board diagnostic systems be standardized and not require authorization from the vehicle manufacturer for access.

Vehicle manufacturers, who profit off of selling vehicle data and restricting independent repair shop access, are spending millions of dollars to scare Massachusetts voters into opposing this measure as well as well as engaging in voter suppression efforts that include urging federal lawmakers to preempt this state ballot measure without any federal standards in place that will ensure that owners have transparency and control of data generated by their motor vehicles.

OUR POSITION

The Auto Care Association supports this measure which ensures Massachusetts citizens can allow their repairer of choice to access their vehicle repair and maintenance data. It promotes transparency and consumer rights while preserving the cybersecurity of their vehicle and its data.

HOW THIS IMPACTS YOU

Passage of this legislation means that car owners will continue to determine where they have their vehicle maintained and repaired, thus ensuring a competitive repair marketplace in Massachusetts. Supporters further hope that action by Massachusetts voters will spur serious consideration of a data access bill on Capitol Hill to ensure that all U.S. car owners can continue to decide where and how their vehicle is maintained.

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