There will be three ballot questions to answer on Nov. 6, but Question 1, known as “Right to Repair,” was settled by legislatures and lobbyists over the summer, signed into law and will go into effect on Election Day. So both sides are saying: skip the question.
How will you vote on Question 1, the Right to Repair law?
Or are they? AAA of Southern New England wants you to vote “yes” anyway.
For months, auto repair lobbyists, legislatures and automobile manufacturers battled over the right for small auto repair shops to have access to the same computer data that repair shops and dealerships enjoy. It's a big deal, experts say, because every car and truck sold is essentially a “computer on wheels.” There is keyless entry, warnings that tell you when tire pressure is low or the oil needs changing, and, of course, who can live without that fancy GPS in the dashboard? If Joe’s Garage doesn’t know the codes, they can’t service you as well.
The compromise reached and signed into law in September is the first of its kind in the country and dealers will begin sharing the data with anyone with an Internet connection—but not ownership.
That is where AAA said the compromise doesn’t go far enough. It argues that voting “yes” on Question 1 will close the loophole.
“The current legislation could give the manufacturer ownership of that information—not you,” it said on its website. “A “yes” vote advocates your ownership of all the information that your car produces—including open-access to the information necessary to have your car repaired by your trusted repair shop—and your right to choose other third-party service providers to whom you grant access.”
The largest lobby group for the passage of Question 1, Massachusetts Right to Repair Committee, said it is happy with the new law but won’t go as far to say don’t vote on it.
"Through the legislature's work, they were able to come up with a law that we're completely happy with," said Arthur W. Kinsman, the committee’s representative.
So why is the question on the ballot? Secretary of State William F. Galvin, said, "It's all a matter of timing. The constitutional provision that allows the ballot question had a deadline of July the third," and it wasn’t until 28 days later that the compromise was enacted.”
A poll conducted by Suffolk University and WHDH TV found that 79 percent were in favor of Question 1. How do you feel about the Right to Repair law? Vote in our poll and comment below.