Massachusetts Voters To Decide If Car Dealerships Have Exclusive Rights To Necessary Repair Info

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts state Senate passed a “Right to Repair” bill that would allow your local mechanic to have access to info that is now only available to car dealerships. But the legislation has stalled in the state House. Sick of inaction, 16,000 Bay State residents petitioned the state, and everyone will have a chance to vote on it come November.

In case you’ve never had your car repaired at a dealership, it’s often quite expensive. And with each new model that rolls off the line representing another leap in technology, dealerships are sometimes the only placed that is both fully trained and equipped to handle a repair.

But the legislation would compel automakers to make the information and tools needed for these repairs available for purchase at a reasonable price to both independent mechanics and car-owners who decide to go the DIY route.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers says the bill as-written would put automakers’ intellectual property at risk. The Boston Globe reports that the AAM claims it has been working on a compromise, but that it will put up a fight if the measure goes before the voters of Massachusetts.

“Automakers have a responsibility to the safety of our consumers, the longterm integrity of our products, and the jobs of eight million American workers who rely on us for their livelihoods,” an AAM rep tells the Globe.

The group that pulled together the 16,000 signatures says a legislative compromise could be acceptable, but that it was important to get the matter on the November ballot because, “one way or another, Massachusetts consumers will soon be able to take their vehicle where they want for repair and maintenance.”

Whether this is legislation is passed in the state house or in the voting booth, we expect it will ultimately end up being resolved in a court of law.

Supporters submit enough signatures to place ‘Right to Repair’ on November ballot []