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Massachusetts state legislature extends consideration of 'Right to Repair' Act

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On the heels of a recent Massachusetts statewide poll of independent auto repair shops showing overwhelming support for equal access to repair information, the deadline for consideration of the state's Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act (H.B. 296) has been extended for another 60 days.

The "Right to Repair" bill, sponsored by state Rep. Vincent Pedone, was introduced into the Massachusetts state legislature in June 2007.

The Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure extended the deadline when its members were informed of the survey's results.

* Nearly 100% of the survey respondents support passage of the Right to Repair Act.

* Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed say they lose repair business every month when car manufacturers don't share repair codes with the independent shops as they do with new car dealers.

* Close to 73% say that their independent automotive service and repair centers are unable to work on at least one car a month due to their inability to receive adequate repair information, software, or tools.

* Almost all respondents, 90%, say their independent automotive service and repair center wastes at least one hour a month in this manner.

The independent opinion poll of more than 100 independent shops was conducted by KRC/Communications Research from March 11-15, 2008 on behalf of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers.

"Support for corrective legislation was overwhelming among these independent service centers," says Gerry Chervinsky, president of KRC/Communications Research. "No matter how big the repair shop or the degree to which this affects them, we found universal support for the statement that they ought to have the same ability to repair vehicles as dealerships."

Rep. Pedone says withholding this information could not be more "anti-consumer."

"There are hundreds of businesses and thousands of employees at work in our independent service centers, and they deserve to be protected every bit as much as the dealers."

For more information about the Right to Repair Act, visit www.RightToRepair.org.

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