BOSTON -- .After Massachusetts became the first state in the country to adopt legislation governing access to vehicle diagnostic information, the battle over "right to repair" laws at the national and state levels has been declared over.
Auto manufacturers, repairers and parts dealers on Wednesday announced a national agreement based on the law that passed in Massachusetts that would satisfy all parties in the movement to make information available to mechanics while protecting manufacturer trade secrets and proprietary information.
According to the organizations involved, the signed memorandum of understanding extends the "essential provisions" for all light vehicles negotiated in the Massachusetts law nationwide and applies to all companies and organizations that are currently members of the signatory associations. Those groups include the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers , the Association of Global Automakers, the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, and the Coalition for Automotive Repair Equality.
"This national agreement ensures the Alliance, Global, AAIA, and CARE will stand down in their fight on 'Right to Repair' and work collectively to actively oppose individual state legislation while our respective groups work to implement this MOU. In the meantime, the parties agree that further state legislation is not needed and could serve to weaken the effectiveness and clarity of the MOU," the groups announced in a press release.
State Rep. Garrett Bradley, who has carried the auto repair legislation in Massachusetts for several years, applauded the agreement. "This law will ensure that independent repair professionals and interested consumers have access to the tools and information required to repair increasingly high-tech cars," Bradley said in a statement.
In 2012, Massachusetts became the first state to pass a law on the nationally debated issue. Auto manufacturers have fought legislative proposals for years, arguing that information-sharing jeopardizes proprietary information.
The Legislature passed a repair law in July 2012, but not soon enough to pull an initiative petition from the November ballot. Voters passed that proposal, which required automakers to share diagnostic information by car model year 2015. The Legislature had dictated the information be available by 2018. The Legislature last November passed a law to reconcile the two versions on the books.