Massachusetts' legislature pushes Right to Repair bill forward

Jan. 1, 2020
Right to Repair legislation (H4892) has advanced further in Massachusetts than in any other state or Congress, with the bill favorably leaving the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee and making it to the House floor this week.

Right to Repair legislation (H4892) has advanced further in Massachusetts than in any other state or Congress, with the bill favorably leaving the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee and making it to the House floor this week.

The legislation would require car manufacturers to provide independent repair shops equal access to the same diagnostic repair information and tools they provide for their dealer mechanics.

Despite major car manufacturers pushing to kill the consumer rights bill, it remains active on the House calendar.

“When we began this process last year, even our own members thought taking on car manufacturers was dauting,” says Stan Morin, a local repairer and chairman of the Massachusetts Right to Repair committee. “But they came to understand this is an issue of survival for them and for their customers. When the manufacturers fail to provide us equal access to that information, the consumers are directly and negatively impacted.”

Lead by Morin, independent repairs took their case directly to the Statehouse this spring, meeting with individual legislators and producing more than 1,000 emails and 600 letters requesting legislator support and backing.

Repairers are behind the legislation to ensure that they will have fair and equal access to necessary repair information, which is growing harder and harder to obtain from car manufacturers, and that their customers have the right to choose where to have their cars repaired.

“The tide is turning on this issue nationally,” Morin says. “But we think the tide will turn first here in Massachusetts.”