Today’s vehicles are becoming more and more complex as computers and technology advance. From a vehicle’s computer to ignition systems, cars as we know them have developed into something we could only dream of 10 or 20 years ago. While these advancements in technology may increase a drivers’ safety, comfort, and auto reliability it has also created an opportunity for auto manufacturers to require basic services and repairs to be completed only by the manufacturer’s dealerships.

Auto dealerships currently own the codes to decipher what is wrong with specific vehicles, leaving independent auto mechanics at a loss as they are unable to repair them without this vital information. The Right to Repair legislation would require exclusive auto manufacturers to share the same codes, data, and tools supplied to their own dealerships with independent mechanics. The passage of this act would allow consumers to choose how and where they service their vehicle, whether it be through an auto dealership or an independent maintenance shop.

Auto manufacturers and dealerships see this legislation as a threat to their lucrative service business. Some of the opposed include: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, and the Automotive Service Association. Lobbyists opposing this new bill have congregated on Beacon Hill urging the the Joint Committee of Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure to dismiss the bill in their executive meeting today regarding the Right to Repair legislation.

The legislation however has many supporters as well including: AAA, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM), the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the Massachusetts Independent Automobile Dealers Association (MIADA). Massachusetts residents struggling with their own economic downturns are looking for a more affordable way to repair their vehicles than visiting dealership service centers. This is not only a local issue, the European Union has passed a Right to Repair and Canada has a piece of similar legislation underway. Keep your eyes open for additional news on the Right to Repair legislation, it very well may effect you or someone you know.