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Massachusetts Governor approves Right to Repair

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Aug. 9, 2012—Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick this week signed the state’s Right to Repair legislation into law.

Governor Patrick approved the legislation after the Massachusetts state legislature approved a compromised version of the bill July 31.

The approved Right to Repair law now requires auto manufacturers to sell all vehicle diagnostic and repair information to independent shops at a fair and reasonable price. Auto manufacturers are required to maintain a website that all repairers can access for information through a universal scan tool by 2018.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), Association of Global Automakers (AGA), Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association (MSADA), and Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition said the compromised legislation is beneficial to all parties.

“Under this new law, consumers, dealers and independent repairers have total access to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) tools and repair information,” the AAM, AGA, MSADA and Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition said in a joint statement. “It ensures choice for Massachusetts vehicle owners, protects manufacturers’ intellectual property, preserves the integrity of the role of the dealer in the repair process, and protects Massachusetts small independent repair businesses and community dealers.”

Massachusetts is the first U.S. state to adopt Right to Repair legislation. The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition said the new law, which was championed by Rep. Garrett Bradley (D-Hingham) and Sen. John Hart (D-S. Boston), will serve as a model for other states throughout the country.

“We thank the Governor and the legislature for recognizing the benefits that Right to Repair will provide consumers. This new consumer law will expand choice, level the playing field for local, neighborhood repair shops, and put more price competition—and consumer savings—into the car repair marketplace,” said Art Kinsman, spokesman for the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition. “Massachusetts has lead the nation before on major issues, and today we once again provide a national model for important consumer legislation.”

The Right to Repair legislation is still scheduled to appear on Massachusetts’ November voting ballot after proponents submitted enough signatures to the Massachusetts Secretary of State in July.

The AAM, AGA, MSADA and Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition have agreed to work together to educate the public that the ballot question is no longer necessary.

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