BOSTON — The Massachusetts legislature is considering a bill that would update and enhance the state's Motor Vehicle Owner Right to Repair bill that was signed into law in 2013.
The bill, several versions of which were introduced early this year, would require vehicle manufacturers starting in model year 2022 to equip all new models with telematics systems with “an inter-operable, standardized and open access platform” that would securely communicate all vehicle data via direct connection to the platform.
The bill would also require that vehicle owners and lessees have access to the data, and that they may authorize independent repair facilities and franchised dealers to have access as well.
“Access for vehicle owners and independent repair facilities shall be standardized and not require the use of any authorization, directly or indirectly, by the manufacturer unless that authorization system for access to vehicle networks and their onboard diagnostic systems is standardized across all makes and models,” the bill states.
The question of access to telematics data needed to be clarified from the original bill, according to Aaron Lowe, senior vice president of regulatory and government affairs for the Auto Care Association.
A growing number of vehicle manufacturers require their own authorization to access onboard diagnostic information, Mr. Lowe said.
Massachusetts was the first state to pass Right to Repair legislation, which requires auto makers to provide to car owners and independent repair shops, in a readily accessible and affordable manner, the same diagnostic and repair information they make available to their franchised dealers.
Two different versions of R2R passed as a bill in the state legislature and as a ballot initiative in 2012. The legislature passed a reconciliation bill late in 2013, which then-Gov. Deval Patrick signed.
The provisions of the Massachusetts R2R bill went into effect with model year 2018, according to Mr. Lowe.
The ACA is a member of the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition, which advocates for Right to Repair and monitors compliance with the law.
“We have tested virtually all makes and models to determine compliance, and we have had a lot of really good success,” Mr. Lowe said. “We've definitely had good cooperation, although some automakers have been more cooperative than others.”
All the versions of the R2R update that have been introduced are the same bill, according to Mr. Lowe. No hearings have yet been set for any, he said.