The Massachusetts State Senate voted to pass the “Right to Repair” Act this week, giving consumers a much-needed victory in the fight against auto parts monopolies. With another vote set for the state’s House of Representatives, the bill is now closer than ever to finding its way into law. The battle to get the bill through the Senate has not been easy, however.
Last month, representatives from local auto body shops joined forced with consumers to make their voice heard in the Senate House hearing room. Creating an atmosphere that is mutually beneficial is the key, but because automakers feel that the design of their parts should fall under patent laws, the bill has not had an easy road.
The grass-roots campaign that has incited Massachusetts consumers resulted in an initiative to get the bill on the ballot. When over 100,000 consumers signed the initiative, it was apparent to the automakers that consumers were banding together in numbers. This level of organization made the passing of the “Right to Repair” Act a foregone conclusion.
With the bill, automakers will have to disclose non-proprietary repair information to local independent shops, giving these smaller companies the ability to make the same types of repairs that a dealership could. Leveling the marketplace required some level of legislation, and as we await the House’s vote on the bill, there’s no doubt that this is a step in the right direction.