Around the Industry: Massachusetts Legislature Passes Right to Repair Reconciliation Measure
Legislation supported by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA)and the Coalition for Auto Repair Equity, along with organizations representing vehicle manufacturers and new car dealers, was recently approved by the Massachusetts legislature.
“We are pleased that the legislature has completed work on a bill that will ensure full access for car owners to a competitive vehicle repair market in the commonwealth,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. “We look forward to working with the car companies to complete a memorandum of understanding in the following weeks that is based on this law that would be applicable to vehicles throughout the nation.”
The bill passed by the state legislature seeks to reconcile two laws that are now on the books in Massachusetts that mandate that car companies provide affordable access to all tools, software and information used to repair late-model, computer-controlled vehicles. The first law was the result of an agreement reached between the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition and the vehicle manufacturers that was passed unanimously by the state legislature in late July. The bill was approved by the legislature too late to remove a ballot measure that had been sponsored by the coalition. That ballot measure was approved in November 2012 by an overwhelming 85-15 percent margin, thus ensuring that there were two right to repair laws on the books in Massachusetts.
The new reconciliation measure tracks closely with the bill passed by the state legislature last year. However, during consideration of the ballot measure, the Senate approved an amendment that included heavy-duty vehicles, those more than 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW), in the right to repair law.