“Massachusetts consumers have spoken, and the law now gives them the right to control their own repair data so that they can get their car fixed where they want,” Hickey told the Gloucester Daily Times. “However, instead of listening to their customers and attempting to comply with the ballot initiative, automakers and dealers filed a baseless, anti-democratic lawsuit.” For those unaware, Massachusetts’ 2020 law was intended to make it easier for small auto shops to access diagnostic data about vehicles without the need for proprietary tools available only to manufacturers. When the law goes into effect, The Drive notes, it would require any automaker doing business in the state to allow this telematics data to be accessible through a smartphone app.
The auto industry has argued making such tools more widely available could come with cybersecurity and vehicle safety risks, though that line of argument has often come across as more akin to fearmongering than actual concern for consumers’ well-being. (One ad paid for by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation tried to convince viewers a sexual predator could use vehicle data to stalk and prey upon their victims). Industry groups representing carmakers even went as far as to file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court arguing the law was unconstitutional. The ruling on that suit has yet to be determined.
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