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Massachusetts Passes "Right to Repair" Expansion Law With 74.8% Voters Approving

Let’s be frank here for a moment. Cars are getting increasingly smarter, and these technological advancements add the kind of complexity that makes it hard for at-home wrenchers to repair any problem that may arise. This condition affects third-party repair shops as well, because telematics data is only accessible by the dealership.
Lexus RX wreck 1 photo
Passed with 74.8 percent approval, the Question 1 expansion of the Right to Repair law from 2012 will straighten things by opening up mechanical data to owners and third parties in Massachusetts. This law requires manufacturers to come up with an open data platform for the 2022 model year, giving the user access to vehicle telematics.

This data would be accessed "through a mobile device application," and with authorization from the owner, "independent repair facilities would be able to retrieve mechanical data from and send commands to the vehicle." In other words, the law gives owners control over the vehicle’s information without interference from the automaker. This piece of legislation also negates the manufacturer’s tendency to defend service departments with proprietary data tools and wireless repair services.

Looking at the bigger picture, Question 1 is a huge victory of the consumer over the corporation. Repairing one’s car without any restriction from the manufacturer or dealership network used to be the norm back in the olden days, but because vehicles are more digitized than ever before, automakers have slowly but steadily chipped away at this right. Diagnosing a vehicle’s mechanical issues will be cheaper as well - as in completely free of charge - because the smartphone app in question will cut off the dealership.

According to massrighttorepair.org, “more than 90% of new cars transmit real-time repair information wirelessly, and independent repair shops will soon have limited or no access.” Because you paid for the car of your liking with your hard-earned bucks, “shouldn’t it be your right to access the information you need to repair it without having to pay high prices at the dealer?”

This is the question that legislators from other states in the U.S. have to ask themselves before it's too late, following in the footsteps of Massachusetts.




 
 
 
 
 

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