Massachusetts Right to Repair initiative gets enough signatures

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The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition on Wednesday, Oct. 19, announced that it has collected 106,658 voter signatures after 19 days of effort, exceeding the 68,911 required for the pro-consumer initiative to appear on the 2012 ballot.

The voter initiative would allow consumers to access all of the nonproprietary repair information required to have their vehicles repaired where they choose, at a new car dealership or an independent shop.

The coalition says the proposed law would level the playing field between the big car manufacturers’ dealerships and independent neighborhood repair facilities, allowing the latter to be able to access the same nonproprietary automobile diagnostic and repair information that currently is available only to the manufacturers’ dealers and their new car dealerships, making car repair work more affordable.

On the federal level, the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (H.R. 1449) was introduced into the 112th Congress by Reps. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) and Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and currently has 33 co-sponsors, including Massachusetts democrat Reps. Michael Capuano, Barney Frank, James McGovern and Niki Tsongas.