After Taking Effect, Maine's Right to Repair Law Undergoes Changes

Feb. 16, 2024
Passed by 84% of Maine voters last November, legislators have altered a fundamental phase of its implementation.

Lawmakers in Maine have voted to make some drastic changes to the recently passed right-to-repair legislation, reports the Portland Press Herald.

Having gone into effect only last month, the bill is currently only requiring automakers to make their repair data accessible. The second phase of its rollout would begin in 2025 with the creation of a standardized data platform, in which all repair data from automakers is stored. An independent entity would then be appointed to oversee how the data is handled.

This past Tuesday, lawmakers voted 7-1 in approval of an amendment that would do away with the bill’s second phase, eliminating the creation of a standardized data platform and a group overseeing it. Now, it will proceed to the House and Senate to be voted on there.

Reasons for lawmakers’ concern have been attributed to potential cyber security risks associated with creating what would be the first standardized platform for auto telematics. Members of an independent entity abusing their positions to promote personal financial gain has also been cited as a cause for worry.

Following the move, supporters of the original bill have voiced criticism. Rep. Daniel Sayre, D-Kennebunk, who cast the only “no vote,” argued that the amendment is a dramatic change from what 84% of Maine residents voted for in November.

“The Legislature should not be usurping the power of the people. That’s just wrong,” said Dan Brooks, owner of an independent shop in Augusta, prior to Tuesday’s vote. “My customers know and trust me. They voted for this.”