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Right to Repair Act rises from the ashes

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When formal sessions for the Massachusetts legislature ended July 31, the Right to Repair Act "died" in the state's House of Representatives. (See "Right to Repair boosters will keep fighting.")

Since then, support for the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act it is stronger than ever, according to the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition.

“Times are tough, and there is increasing recognition that Right to Repair legislation will offer consumers more choices and savings in auto repair,” says Art Kinsman, spokesman for the coalition.

“There are 32,000 jobs related to the independent repair industry in Massachusetts, whether they are working under the hood of your car behind the counter at the local auto parts store. All these jobs depend on the availability of repair codes, information and tools. That’s why so many businesses and groups have flocked to join our coalition, doubling its size in the past two months from thirteen to twenty-six organizations representing consumers, independent repairers, auto supply retailers, and even a group advocating for military personnel and their families.”

Meineke Car Care Centers Inc. recently came on board as a Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition member, and many of its franchise owners are displaying “Support Your Right to Repair” signs at their locations.

“Signage is a great way to get my customers to ask me about Right to Repair and to motivate them to contact their legislator and ask them to support this bill,” says Joe Cappadonna, owner of Meineke Care Car Center in Quincy, Mass. “When I tell them the bill ensures they will have greater choice in where they have their car repaired, and also save money on those repairs, they seem more than willing to get involved."

Since July 2010, 13 companies or groups have joined the coalition. They include Valvoline Instant Oil Change, a division of Ashland Inc.; Midas International Corp.; the American Military Society; Allied Auto Parts; the Automotive Oil Change Association; AutoZone Inc.; the Automotive Recycler’s Association; Autopart International Inc.; the National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA); Retiresafe, a grassroots organization; and LKQ Corp.

The Right to Repair Bill was passed unanimously by the Massachusetts Senate earlier this year, and was supported by 114 members of the House of Representatives. State Governor Deval Patrick indicated he will sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

For more information on the Right to Repair Coalition, visit righttorepair.org.

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