After a 13-year legal battle over access to manufacturer repair tools, 23 automakers and thousands of independent repair shops have signed a memorandum agreeing to a “Right to Repair.”
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Association of Global Automakers and two aftermarket groups have signed the Right to Repair memorandum and now automakers will not have to force you to have your vehicle repaired at a dealership. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) is nearly identical to the Right to Repair bill signed into Massachusetts law last November. The MOU states that automakers must make the same diagnostic and repair tools available to independent shops that dealerships use.
Starting with model year 2018, every automaker will be required to use a standardized, non-proprietary interface for mechanics to retrieve service data from a vehicle. If automakers refuse to comply, a five-member panel that represents both sides can be summoned to resolve the dispute. On the other side, repair shops have agreed to stop lobbying for a federal Right to Repair law.
The agreement will only apply to vehicles model year 2002 and newer while motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles with a gross weight rating over 14,000 lbs and RVs are exempt. It’s worth noting that the MOU isn’t law but rather a voluntary agreement. It won’t be valid until all 23 automakers, and not their respective trade groups, sign individual letters agreeing to comply.
“A patchwork of 50 differing state bills, each with its own interpretations and compliance parameters doesn’t make sense,” said Mike Stanton, president of Global Automakers. “This agreement provides the uniform clarity our industry needs and a nationwide platform to move on.”
[Source: Car and Driver]