The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition says that despite new survey data showing Massachusetts consumers overwhelmingly favor the Right to Repair ballot initiative, the big car makers have now walked away from negotiations.
Opponents of the proposed Right to Repair consumer-friendly legislation, including the car manufacturers and their dealerships, have now stalled attempts to create a bill that benefits consumers and is agreeable to both sides. Discussions between the two sides had been ongoing over the past several weeks.
“We need a system that is fair and protects consumers, and right now we have neither. Repeated attempts to bring the two sides together have been halted by the opposition,” says Art Kinsman of the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition. “We have significant concerns with the manufacturers’ position that disregards consumer rights, independent repair shops and protects only the manufacturers and dealership.”
The Right to Repair Coalition says the bill will save motoring consumers money and provide greater choice by requiring the car companies to sell non-proprietary repair information to vehicle owners or their preferred repair shops. Currently, the car companies provide full repair information only to their new car dealerships, but relatively little to the independents or to the owners of the vehicles.
After collecting 100,000 signatures, the Right to Repair Bill is now before the Massachusetts legislature. The legislature has until May to pass legislation providing consumers some relief. If no bill is passed, the issue will appear on the ballot in the November election.