Right to Repair moves closer to ballot in Massachusetts

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The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition’s consumer voter initiative will advance toward the 2012 ballot in Massachusetts. The group has collected 80,000 certified signatures that are to be delivered to the office of Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin today. Dec. 7, 2011, is the deadline for a required 68,000 signatures.

“This strong, pro-motoring-consumer language makes it easier and more cost-effective for motorists to get their cars repaired where they want, especially important during tough economic times,” said Art Kinsman of the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition. “For the first time, consumers in Massachusetts will have a full range of affordable options when it comes to car repairs.”

When passed, the new law will require carmakers to provide all non-proprietary repair information to auto repair technicians and consumers. This will be achieved through a device that can access the same information that manufacturers now provide to their own dealers, but often not to independent technicians.

“After the ballot question wins in 2012, and the law goes into effect a few years later, when the dreaded “Check Engine” light comes on, every consumer and the neighborhood technician of their choice will be able to obtain repair information they can’t currently get,” said Kinsman.

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.

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