Could this be the year right-to-repair legislation finally gets passed in a state legislature or nationally?
The chances appear better than ever of this happening, with three states
having introduced their own versions of bills for what’s officially
known as the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act.
This is not to mention the intense efforts that have continued to get such a law passed nationally.
Should right-to-repair legislation become a reality, either federally or
in an individual state or states, it would be a boon for independent
No longer would they have to worry about not being able to compete
fairly with franchised car dealerships that have ready access to all the
technical information and equipment needed to repair today’s
increasingly complex vehicles.
The Right to Repair Act would ensure the availability of this and level
the playing field between independent auto service providers and car
It would do so by establishing stiff penalties against auto
manufacturers that fail to make available at a reasonable price the same
non-proprietary repair and diagnostic information they give their
Consumers would benefit by having more options as to where they can take
their vehicles for repair and not being locked into having to return to
a franchised car dealer.
At the same time, state passage of the legislation would serve as strong
encouragement for other states to follow with their own version of
right to repair.
The states considering right-to-repair bills are Massachusetts,
Connecticut and Oregon, the latter two having introduced proposed
legislation just this year.
Of the three, Massachusetts seems to have the best shot of passing what would become the nation’s first right-to-repair law.
It narrowly missed doing so last year, after legislation was approved in
the state Senate by a unanimous voice vote. Before the bill could come
to a vote in the House, the legislature adjourned for the year, deeply
disappointing its proponents.
Still, momentum and support for the bill remains strong and it has
gained even more co-sponsors than it had in 2010, so the likelihood of
its passing this year is more than just idle hope.
For tire dealers and other independent repair shops in Massachusetts,
Connecticut and Oregon, now is the time to be heard. If the Right to
Repair Act is important to you, let your state and national
representatives—and state dealer groups—know how you feel.
This could be the year when right-to-repair legislation finally becomes law. It’s time to make that a reality.