By Bob Katzen
Voters approved a proposed law that would require that motor vehicle owners and independent repair facilities be provided with all mechanical information needed to diagnose and repair cars as well as perform routine maintenance starting with 2022 models, over a secure open access platform that independent repair shops can access, when authorized by the car’s owner.
“The people have spoken—by a huge margin—in favor of immediately updating right to repair so it applies to today’s high-tech cars and trucks,” said Tommy Hickey, Director of the Right To Repair Coalition, the group that spearheaded the effort to vote “yes” vote on Question 1. He noted that his group was outspent by millions of dollars, but he says that voters understood what was at stake. “The thousands of ‘Yes on 1’ signs in front of small businesses around the state tell the story—automakers were trying to corner the market on car repairs, but the voters stopped them,” continued Hickey.
“As we have said from the beginning, the right to repair and the ability of local repair shops to access vehicle repair information are already enshrined in Massachusetts law,” said Conor Yunits, spokesperson for the Coalition for Safe and Secure Data, the group urging a “no” vote on Question 1. “[This] vote will do nothing to enhance that right—it will only grant real time, two-way access to your vehicle and increase risk. At no point did the yes side provide any credible arguments as to why national auto parts chains need this information to service your vehicles.”
According to the Associated Press, 75 percent of voters voted “yes” and 25 percent voted “no.” Official figures from the scretary of state are not yet available.