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State ballot measure passes

It may be the Massachusetts’ ballot initiative that received the least amount of national attention on Election Day, yet its approval benefits every car owner in the state. On November 6, voters in Massachusetts approved the pro-consumer, pro-competition Right to Repair ballot measure with a historic 85 percent of the vote. Supporters of the legislation urge Congress to pass a national Right to Repair law.

“When more than 2.2 million voters in the commonwealth overwhelmingly approved Right to Repair, they demonstrated how important this issue is to every motorist, not only in Massachusetts, but across the country as well,” said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association. “The Massachusetts legislature unanimously passed Right to Repair legislation earlier this year and Governor Patrick signed it into law on August 7, but the referendum was still on the ballot and voters had their say. They made it crystal clear that they want to have the Right to Repair.”

When local repair shops are denied access to non-proprietary repair information from the car companies, competition and consumer choice are limited. Right to Repair levels the competitive playing field for motoring consumers and between new car dealerships and independent repair shops by requiring that car companies provide full, fair access at a reasonable cost to all non-proprietary service information, tools, fault codes and safety-related bulletins needed to repair motor vehicles.

The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 1449) was introduced into the 112th Congress by Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Todd Russell Platts (R-PA), and currently has 52 co-sponsors.