Annemarie Pender (Global Automakers)
Dan Gage (Auto Alliance)
Automakers: Ballot Measure Broken and Not Repairable
Petition Language Markedly Different from Earlier Legislative Bills
Boston—March 21, 2012 — The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) and the Association of Global Automakers (Global Automakers) today joined their Massachusetts Auto Coalition partners to testify before the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure against House Bill 3882, the initiative petition on so-called “Right to Repair.”
Auto Alliance Vice President Matthew Godlewski and Global Automakers’ President and CEO Michael Stanton testified – along with technical, diagnostic, and cyber-security experts from Chrysler Group LLC, General Motors, and American Honda Motor Company – and made the following three main points:
The focus and underlying intent of the ballot measure is very different from the urgent need so-called “Right to Repair” proponents have been articulating for the last five years.
Ballot measure is not based on consumer choice or ensuring access to information, but on mandating use of an outdated communications system developed 12 years ago.
- Ballot language requires vehicle redesign that locks in old technology, preventing advancements or innovation within motor vehicle diagnostic and repair systems.
- While proponents claim the ballot is about local independent repairers and consumer choice, the effort is funded by national big box auto parts retailers and quick fix chains that have zeroed in on Massachusetts to change the entire motor vehicle manufacturing system for their own financial gain.
The ballot measure is so poorly written and ill-conceived that it will leave a host of unintended consequences for Massachusetts businesses and consumers alike.
- Mandate would apply to commercial trucks, recreational vehicles, school buses, transit buses, and motorcycles, which have never utilized this required tool.
- Unrealistic deadline for compliance – penalty is the inability to sell vehicles in Massachusetts for Model Year 2015 and thereafter (beginning about February 2014).
- Ballot would encourage frivolous litigation and create major liability exposure for businesses.
- Safety, security, and personal privacy could be compromised.
Automakers already make the same tools, service and repair information available to independent shops in the same format, at the same time, and at similar prices as they do to franchised dealerships.
- With 3 million registered vehicles in Massachusetts, the Commonwealth’s 465 franchised dealers simply cannot meet the demand for all auto service and repair needs even if they wanted to do so.
- Independent repairers are needed and important to the process – 75 percent of all post-warranty repairs in Massachusetts are currently completed by independents.
- So-called “Right to Repair” proponents have never been able to define or prove what information is being withheld.
About the Alliance
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers represents 12 of the world’s leading car and light truck manufacturers, including BMW Group, Chrysler Group, LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen Group of America, and Volvo Cars.
About Global Automakers
The Association of Global Automakers represents 14 automobile and light truck manufacturers, including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Kia, Mahindra, Maserati, McLaren, Nissan, Peugeot, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota. About the Mass Auto Coalition
The Massachusetts Auto Coalition is an expansive group of automobile industry organizations – including automakers, dealers, and independent service and repair technicians – and local business, regional commerce, labor, insurance, and law enforcement entities dedicated to explaining why so-called “Right-to Repair” is wrong for Massachusetts. Find out more at www.massautocoalition.org.