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Mass. tries to reconcile right to repair laws

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Legislation to reconcile two right to repair laws on the books in Massachusetts has been approved by the state legislature. The legislation is supported by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE), along with organizations representing vehicle manufacturers and new car dealers. 

The bill passed by the state legislature seeks to reconcile two laws that are now on the books in Massachusetts that mandate that car companies provide affordable access to all tools, software and information used to repair late model computer controlled vehicles.

The first law was the result of an agreement reached between the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition and the vehicle manufacturers that was passed unanimously by the state legislature in late July.

The bill was approved by the legislature too late to remove a ballot measure that had been sponsored by the coalition. That ballot measure was approved in November 2012 by an overwhelming 85-15 percent margin, ensuring there were two right to repair laws on the books in Massachusetts.

The new reconciliation measure tracks closely with the bill passed by the state legislature last year. However, during consideration of the ballot measure, the Senate approved an amendment that included heavy duty vehicles, those over 14,000 pounds GVR, in the right to repair law. The bill now goes to the governor who has 10 days from passage to sign it.

“We are pleased that the legislature has completed work on a bill that will ensure full access for car owners to a competitive vehicle repair market in the commonwealth,” says Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO.

“We look forward to working with the car companies to complete a memorandum of understanding in the next weeks that is based on this law that would be applicable to vehicles throughout the nation.”

For more on Right to Repair see:

Heavy-duty added to Mass. Right to Repair bill

Right to Repair bill introduced in Maine

Massachusetts voters approve Right to Repair

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