A trade group constitutes 22 automakers and providers of original equipment are up-in-arms against the Massachusetts right to repair law passed earlier in June 2021. This law is an update of the 2013 right to “repair law” that made it possible for car owners and independent repair shops to have access to the telematics data of their cars. Right to repair in Massachusetts? Keep reading.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The passing of the Massachusetts right to repair bill was in June 2021.
  • 2.6 million (75%) voters voted for the new referendum.
  • Automakers like General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Nissan, and Honda are against the “right to repair” bill.

The attempt to block the referendum by the automakers stems from their conflict with the federal laws about emissions regulation. They argue that the new laws will allow third parties to interfere with their systems that make it possible to control the emission of gases. 

Before we understand more about automakers’ concerns about the law, let us first discuss the new legislation changes and the conflict of interest between manufacturers and consumers. Take a look at why manufacturers were also against the right to repair bill in Minnesota.

Insider Tip

A trade group constitutes 22 automakers and providers of original equipment are up-in-arms against the Massachusetts right to repair law passed earlier in June 2021.

How the Law Changed

In 2013, Massachusetts had its first right to repair act that forced manufacturers of automobiles to adopt a country-wide right to repair standard. The purpose of the latest referendum was to modernize the law to enable the public to access the same real-time information on cars accessible by the automakers.

In November 2020, residents of Massachusetts voted in favor of the new referendum by 75% (2.6 million voters) to allow access to the vehicle’s data during diagnostics and repair. However, the new law only allows automakers who want to operate in Massachusetts to make this telematics data accessible to their customers through a mobile app by January 2022. This requirement is hard to accomplish because automakers like Honda have already rolled out the new 2022 model versions.

Which Automakers are Against the Law?

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation includes automakers like Ferrari, BMW, General Motors, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, etc. Other partners in the coalition include vehicle component automakers like Denso, Bosch, Infineon, Harman, Luminar, Intel, Sirius XM, NXP Semiconductors, Texas Instruments, and Panasonic.

The opposition raised about $26.6 million with the following contributions from different manufacturers, General Motors ($5.5 million), Ford ($4.5 million), Toyota ($4.5 million), Honda ($3 million), and Nissan ($2.4 million). Other funded ads were under a shell corporation with the title Coalition for Safe and Secure Data. Unfortunately, these ads were not successful because of the overwhelming support in favor of the new referendum. Similar support was witnessed in the passing of the right to repair bill in New York.

Insider Tip

In 2013, Massachusetts had its first right to repair act that forced manufacturers of automobiles to adopt a country-wide right to repair standard.

F.A.Q.S

Did OEMs know about the right to repair bill before it became popular legislation across the country?

Yes. According to the Attorney General, OEMs have not made positive contributions to comply with the Data Law. Their reluctance is shocking because the aftermarket associations were working on ensuring that car owners and independent repair shops access the telemetric systems in vehicles.


How will mall auto repair shops benefit from the Massachusetts’ New Right-to-Repair Law?

Modern cars like Teslas have a lot of telematics data that have restricted access. However, the new law in Massachusetts requires automotive manufacturing companies to publicize telemetrics data to independent repair shops and car owners.


Does the Data Law give leeway to OEMs to design vehicle elements that are inoperable?

The coalition of automotive manufacturers also argues that the Data Law conflicts with the Safety Act. Ideally, this act prevents OEMs from designing elements like cybersecurity controls that people cannot service. OEMs use different cybersecurity protections design elements to protect the core functionality of the vehicle. So, making these elements inoperative as required by the Data Law conflicts with the Safety Act.



STAT: In 2020, there was a 1.7% increase in the number of repair shops in the United States. (source)

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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