By - Brian Johnson
I’ve been in the business of fixing cars for more than 40 years. Same city, same street, and have customers that have been coming to me for decades, mainly because they trust me.
But that could soon change if the current Right to Repair law isn’t updated. That’s because as of this year, 90% of new cars will be equipped to transmit mechanical information wirelessly and directly to the dealers, bypassing us and shutting out independent car repair shops from being able to access the information we need in order to fix your car.
Advancements in technology are good, no doubt. But let’s be very clear, car manufacturers have one goal here, and one goal only — to steer you to their dealerships where you will pay more for the services…
"If Question 1 passes? It would update the 2013 (Right to Repair) law to include language that would require automakers to share that wireless data. They’d have to make an app that would let vehicle owners and mechanics access mechanical data.”
“The concern is that at some point in the future that vehicle data will only be transmitted wirelessly so independent mechanics won’t be able to fix your car without Question 1.”
We fixed it with Right to Repair in 2012. Car manufacturers were required to provide access through a data port we could plug our wire into so that we could repair your car, providing you many choices on where to get service. We thought this fight was over. But now, with new WiFi technology, these car manufacturers are once again trying to keep repair data away from you and the local repair shops you might choose through a loophole.
Car manufacturers are including technology called telematics into new cars. If you have purchased a new car in the last few years its very likely you already have this technology installed. These systems send repair and diagnostic information wirelessly from your car directly back to the manufacturer. If independent repair shops like mine aren’t able to get access to this information the consumers won’t be able to shop around and will have no choice but to take their car to the dealership for repairs.
Independent repair businesses in Massachusetts aren’t able to compete with giant car manufacturers. We need fair access to diagnostic and repair data and so do you — it’s what we all voted for in 2012