Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Quicker Fix: Right to Repair offers car owners more options

jalopyOne of the state's ballot questions this November proposes a "Right to Repair" law requiring auto manufacturers to sell vehicles' diagnostic and safety information to independent repair shops (and to vehicle owners). Up to now, such material has been top-secret - available only to dealership service departments. Proponents say Right to Repair will expand options for consumers who need to get their vehicles serviced and repaired, bringing down costs.

It's been a contentious issue nationwide, with auto manufacturers and dealerships lobbying to keep the status quo. But this summer, when it became clear that the public was firmly behind the ballot measure in Massachusetts (88 percent supported it, AAA found), automakers made a U-turn and dropped their opposition. The Legislature unanimously passed Right to Repair, and Gov. Deval Patrick signed it into law on Aug. 8. It's the first such law in the nation.

And while Question 1 will still appear on the ballot - by the time the governor signed the law it was too late to
take it off - voting for or against it is a moot point. The law stands - and takes effect on Election Day, Nov. 6.

For more information go to massrighttorepair.com.

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