Right to Repair Act passes Massachusetts Senate

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Updated May 29, 2012

The Massachusetts State Senate has approved a House measure with added safeguards on Right To Repair legislation intended to protect both new car dealerships and independent repairers, who have long sought a level playing field.

“We thank Chairman Tom Kennedy and the legislation’s senate sponsor, Sen. Jack Hart,” said Art Kinsman, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition. “Without their leadership, consumers would still be waiting for this step. We applaud the Senate for acting and look forward to passage in the House and then on to the governor for his signature. Consumers are waiting.”

More than 100,000 Massachusetts citizens signed the Right to Repair ballot initiative earlier this year. If the state legislature does not pass a final Right to Repair bill, the state’s consumers will get their own chance to vote for passage on the November ballot. Recent polls have shown support level for Right to Repair as high as 87 percent.

The Right to Repair bill requires that car manufacturers sell all nonproprietary repair information to local independent repair shops and new car dealers so they can all repair vehicles using the same manufacturers’ codes. Changes to the Senate-passed legislation make certain that new car dealers derive the same benefits and have the same ability to obtain identical repair information as neighborhood repair shops.

At the federal level, the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (H.R. 1449) was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) and Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and currently has 50 co-sponsors.