Mass. dealers, coalition agree on Right to Repair

June 20, 2012

The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association (MSADA) and the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition announced an agreement on compromise right to repair legislation that, if passed, would avoid the November ballot question fight.

“Our members not only are franchise vehicle dealers for the manufacturers but also act as independent repairers when working on vehicles outside their franchise line makes,” said Robert O’Koniewski, executive vice president of the MSADA. “Therefore, a consumer’s ability to have his or her car repaired by whomever he or she wants is important to us.”

O’Koniewski said that as part of the legislative process, MSADA has been working with legislators, the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition, vehicle manufacturers, and all other interested parties to achieve a consensus on a bill that would ultimately avoid the November ballot question. MSADA is also fixing the problems in the petition that directly impact its member dealers.

Should the ballot question pass, there is a great possibility that MSADA dealers will not have vehicles to sell to its customers beginning in the spring of 2014.

“The manufacturers cannot, or will not, comply with the law,” said O’Koniewski. “That is a prospect with which we cannot gamble our dealers’ businesses and their customers’ satisfaction.”

“We are especially pleased that the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association has joined us in pushing for a legislative solution to the Right to Repair issue,” said Art Kinsman, spokesman for the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition. “At the heart of it, Right to Repair has always been about fairness in creating a level playing field between the car and truck manufacturers, franchise new car dealers and their independent counterparts in the aftermarket.”