As Issue Moves Closer to 2012 Ballot, Voters Expect To Get Cost Savings and Convenience on Their Car Repairs
BOSTON — The Right to Repair Coalition announced that it is launching the next phase of its “Campaign for Consumers” and will begin gathering the final batch of 11,000 voter signatures required to get the issue on the November ballot. At the same time, the coalition said it looks forward to continuing its good-faith effort to work with legislative leaders and negotiate a compromise with the big carmakers.
“require a manufacturer of motor vehicles sold in the Commonwealth to make available for purchase by owners of motor vehicles…and by independent repair facilities the same diagnostic and repair information, including repair technical updates, that the manufacturer makes available to its dealers and authorized repair facilities…”
“Our Campaign for Consumers is running full-throttle on all fronts so we can deliver cost savings and convenience to the Massachusetts motoring public,” said Right to Repair coalition spokesman, Art Kinsman. “The big car companies have been stalling and telling legislators to keep delaying this pro-consumer vote, but we are committed to working with elected officials to enact a strong but fair Right to Repair consumer proposal. However, notwithstanding our efforts in the legislature, we also are preparing for a vigorous fall campaign to ensure that consumers have the right to take their vehicle where they want for repair and maintenance,” Kinsman added.
The Right to Repair measure would “require a manufacturer of motor vehicles sold in the Commonwealth to make available for purchase by owners of motor vehicles…and by independent repair facilities the same diagnostic and repair information, including repair technical updates, that the manufacturer makes available to its dealers and authorized repair facilities…”
Currently, auto manufacturers provide only some of the diagnostic and safety information needed to repair vehicle owners’ cars with independent technicians, limiting consumers’ choices and losing business for neighborhood repair shops.
“We have been willing to work with legislators and the car companies from the start to try to come up with language that both protects consumers’ choice and provides car makers what they say they need in the new legislation,” said Kinsman. “But, what we won’t do in any talks is betray consumers who expect the kind of benefits Right to Repair will provide,” he added.
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 recently that, “consumers are enduring expensive dealership costs and the legislature has the ability to bring relief now. They need to act.”
A study posted on www.cartalk.com and independent from the Right to Repair coalition, 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.
Last December, fulfilling the requirements of the initial phase of the ballot campaign, the coalition delivered 80,000 certified signatures to the Secretary of State’s office. The Right to Repair coalition expects to easily gather the final batch of signatures far ahead of the early July deadline.