Katherine J. Atkinson: Vote ‘yes’ on Question 1, Right to Repair

  • A summary of Ballot Question 1 in the Nov. 3, 2020, Massachusetts election, known as a “Right to Repair” law, is displayed in a handbook provided to voters by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Marlborough, Mass.  AP/Bill Sikes

Published: 10/21/2020 4:37:03 PM

I’ve been taking my car to my independent car repair shop in Amherst for years. I trust them and count on them for good service at a good price. When I have a problem I call and say, “Steve’s car makes a weird noise,” and they know the make and model and arrange for me to drop it off.

Recently, I tried calling a dealership to inquire about installing a roof rack, and I was put on hold for 12 minutes. Out of curiosity I called three other dealerships, and they all did the same thing. I like my local mechanic who I can trust to be honest and prompt and work around my busy schedule. As a local business owner I want to support local businesses. Dealerships don’t know or care about my family or our needs. Corporate greed drives laws that restrict the ability for little guys like my mechanic to stay in business.

I am urging voters to vote “yes” on Question 1/Right to Repair. The Right to Repair law was overwhelmingly supported last time around in 2012. But it needs updating because newer cars are now transmitting their mechanical data wirelessly directly to manufacturers who give it to their dealers and keep it away from independent shops.

Question 1 is about mechanical information needed to diagnose and repair cars and to provide routine maintenance. If you want to continue to have a choice as to where you take your car for repairs and support your local businesses and jobs, then vote “yes” on Question 1, “yes” on Right to Repair.

Katherine J. Atkinson 


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