Now, the federal court has to rule on whether this law is constitutional.
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation has successfully stopped the Massachusetts right-to-repair law, at least temporarily. The state's attorney general has decided not to enforce the new legislation until there's a federal court ruling on its constitutionality, according to Automotive News. The law was supposed to take effect on starting with 2022 model year vehicles. The federal decision isn't likely to come until 2021.
As part of the 2020 election on November 3, Massachusetts passed an expansion to an existing law that already ensured that a person or independent mechanic would be able to repair their automobiles by having access to the same diagnostic and repair information that dealerships use. The revised version updates the legislation to include the wireless data that a vehicle transmits like GPS information, crash notifications, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and other similar info. The argument is that an owner should have the right to access this information since their driving is creating it.
In contrast, the automotive lobby sees this information as proprietary and therefore shouldn't be available to the general public. Opponents to the updated law spent over $26 million to campaign against it. However, the effort was a failure because 74.97 percent of voters were in favor of the measure.
Shortly following the election win, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation filed its lawsuit claiming that the Massachusetts law is unconstitutional and conflicts with federal laws. There's also an allegation that making this telematic data readily available could put drivers at risk by making hacking a vehicle easier.
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation represents a variety of automakers and suppliers in the US, including BMW, FCA, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Volkswagen Group, and many more. According to its website, the group "works with policymakers to support cleaner, safer and smarter personal transportation that helps transform the US economy, and sustain American ingenuity and freedom of movement."