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Massachusetts passes 'Right to Repair' bill

The "right to repair" legislation in Massachusetts is almost a right. The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act (H.R. 4362) was passed by the state legislature on July 31, 2012.

Now it awaits the signature of Gov. Deval L. Patrick, which is expected, according to the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed Right to Repair legislation by a vote of 153-0, followed by unanimous passage in the Senate.

In a joint statment, the coalition, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Association of Global Automakers and the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association commented on the passage of the ground-breaking bill.

“Automakers, dealers, and independent repair shops applaud the Massachusetts Legislature’s action late last night to approve a compromise 'Right to Repair' bill. This legislation represents common ground among the parties.

“Under this new law, consumers, dealers, and independent repairers have total access to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) tools and repair information. It ensures choice for Massachusetts vehicle owners, protects manufacturers’ intellectual property, preserves the integrity of the role of the dealer in the repair process and protects Massachusetts small independent repair businesses and community dealers.

“We wish to acknowledge the significant efforts of House Chair Ted Speliotis and Senate Chair Tom Kennedy in the development of this compromise, and thank Speaker DeLeo, President Murray, House Minority Leader Jones, and Senate Minority Leader Tarr for ushering this legislation through their respective chambers during a busy last day of session.

“Once the bill is signed into law, all parties have agreed to work together to educate public on the compromise bill and that the ballot question is no longer necessary.”

Proponents of the Right to Repair Act first spoke before the Massachusetts legislature in 2007. Since then, the bill has had to jump many hurdles.

“The passage of the 'Right to Repair’ bill is critical to maintaining the safety of the motoring public in providing the much needed access to technical data in an era of high-tech cars," says Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of the Tire Industry Association. "We hope the passage of this bill will be the impetus for the U.S. Congress to pass a similar bill.”

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