Massachusetts / New England Independent Automobile Dealers Association

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Sun, Apr 11, 2021
Jan20

Right to Repair Act

Legislative Update

Right to Repair Act

Right to Repair

The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act was the Auto Care Association’s principal policy objective for many years. The industry’s wildly successful campaign in Massachusetts paved the way for a national solution, eventually finalized in a 2014 memorandum of understanding between the Auto Care Association, Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) and vehicle manufacturers. For the first time ever, new car manufacturers must make the same service information and tools available to independent repair shops that they provide for their franchised dealers. Right to Repair now guarantees every car owner’s right to have their vehicle serviced at the repair facility of their choice.

However, the Massachusetts Right to Repair law and subsequent national agreement specifically excluded telematics, which is the data transmitted wirelessly from the vehicle to the manufacturer, as written in the excerpt from the act relative to Automotive Repair ( excerpt shown below). In order for the independent auto care industry to maintain and service today's "connected" vehicles, it must be granted access to this information. The industry once again took the fight to Massachusetts in 2020 in order to ensure Right to Repair applies to the next generation of vehicles. On November 3, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot initiative that would provide car owners with access to their mechanical data and would permit owners to share that data with the repair shop of their choice.

AN ACT RELATIVE TO AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR (2013, Ch. 165)

“(f) With the exception of telematics diagnostic and repair information that is provided to dealers, necessary to diagnose and repair a customer’s vehicle and not otherwise available to an independent repair facility via the tools specified in paragraph (1) of subsection (c) and paragraph (1) of subsection (d), nothing in this chapter shall apply to telematics services or any other remote or information service, diagnostic or otherwise, delivered to or derived from a motor vehicle by mobile communications; provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abrogate a telematics services contract or other contract that exists between a manufacturer or service provider, an owner or a dealer. For the purposes of this chapter, telematics services shall include, but not be limited to, automatic airbag deployment and crash notification, remote diagnostics, navigation, stolen vehicle location, remote door unlock, transmitting emergency and vehicle location information to public safety answering points and any other service integrating vehicle location technology and wireless communications. Nothing in this chapter shall require a manufacturer or a dealer to disclose to any person the identity of existing customers or customer lists.”