BOSTON — Only a little more than a month after consumers and neighborhood repairers packed a State House hearing room to urge passage of the Right to Repair legislation, the Massachusetts State Senate late Thursday evening strongly approved the measure with a few added safeguards that protect new car dealerships as well as the independent repairers who have long sought a level playing field.
“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”
“We thank Chairman Tom Kennedy and the legislation’s senate sponsor, Sen. Jack Hart. Without their leadership, consumers would still be waiting for this step. We are pleased to report to all of the state’s motoring consumers that because of the Senate’s action their Right to Repair legislation is one step closer to bringing cost savings and convenience,” said Art Kinsman, a spokesman for the Right to Repair coalition.
In the Senate-passed legislation, new car dealers would have the same protections to obtain identical repair information that independent repairers seek. These changes ensure dealers derive the same benefits of Right to Repair as the neighborhood shops.
The legislation passed by the Senate requires car manufacturers to sell all non-proprietary repair information to local neighborhood car mechanics, repair shops and new car dealers so they can all repair vehicles using the same codes provided by the manufacturers.
A study posted on www.cartalk.com shows that, on average, consumers could save up to $420 per year on car repairs if local repair shops were able to buy the code data.
“The big car makers have come up with every excuse they can think of and they are running out of answers as to why they don’t want consumers to have this data,” said Kinsman. “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,” he added.
More than 100,000 citizens signed the Right to Repair ballot initiative earlier this year. If the legislature does not pass a final bill, the state’s consumers will get their own chance to vote—on the November ballot. Recent polls have shown support level for Right to Repair as high as 87 percent.
Thousands of independent repairers, the AAA and neighborhood auto parts shops support Right to Repair. John Paul, the AAA “Car Doctor” and radio personality, said during recent hearings on the proposal that, “consumers are enduring expensive dealership costs and the legislature has the ability to bring relief now. They need to act.”