The Aftermath of the ‘Right to Repair’ Passage in Massachusetts

Good news, everyone – your car is still yours!  While we say this with a bit of sarcasm, the truth is that your ability to repair your vehicle, which you purchased with money you likely spent months saving, is still intact in Massachusetts.  The ‘Right to Repair Act’ passed with a resounding “yes” from the citizens of Massachusetts, striking another blow to the auto industry’s attempts to corner the market on replacement parts.  For those of you just now hearing about such developments, here’s a brief refresher…


The auto manufacturers have been attempting to eliminate the ability of aftermarket parts manufacturers to reverse engineer various parts on their vehicles, which in turn, leads to replacement parts that are not manufactured by the automakers themselves.  Further, auto manufacturers have to supply independent repair shops with the same diagnostic computer codes and repair information that any dealership repair facility receives.  Essentially, the competition is putting a dent in their profits on parts and repairs, and they aren’t too thrilled about it.


At the same time, aftermarket parts organizations have circled the wagons, calling out the auto industry for a perceived “monopoly” on the always booming auto parts industry.  Long story short, lawmakers got involved, consumers voiced their opinions regarding the ridiculous prices charged by dealerships, and the legislation has been introduced and passed in MA. 


Feeling informed?  Good.  And, while this is simply a “bare bones” explanation for a complex argument, we at least wanted to frame the information for you a bit.


The work isn’t done, however.  See, the bill that passed the general public in the recent election is different than the bill that was pushed through the state legislature earlier in 2012.  Basically, there is a divide that must be remedied, so lawmakers have their work cut out for them.  Resolution is expected, however, and we’ll get more details as the information begins to emerge.


Such legislative efforts are important to the aftermarket parts industry, as they ensure that competition remains intact.  And, as such bills are passed into laws in particular states, the likelihood of a sweeping movement occurring increases.  While we can admit a bit of bias on the subject, the truth of the matter is that this is a huge victory for the aftermarket industry.


If you’d like to read more about the news as it broke, check out this link:




The automaker response was less than excited, as expected, as many voiced concerns over the expensive nature of compromise.  Some even mentioned that car prices would rise as a result of the ‘Right to Repair’ legislation…


Why are we always threatened with rising prices?  Ok, raise them…and consumers will find other manufacturers to purchase vehicles from, just as they have parts…your move, automakers.


You’d think that they’d learn from previous mistakes, wouldn’t you?



  1. Brian

    It’s always the same mantra: If you do this (or don’t do it) prices are going to go up. We hear it from every sort of business supplying every sort of good or service.

    Ok, they can raise prices if they want but anybody who’s ever taken a high school economics class already knows that doing so will not make them more profitable, as prices are set by the market, not the cost of manufacturing.

    It’s just a tactic to scare people into giving big business special favours to ensure that they are able to unfairly dominate the marketplace.

    • I’ll be honest, Brian…it was a clean shot that I took against the automakers. In truth, I’m impressed with the rebound that we have seen from the industry here in the States. But, nothing infuriates me more than strong-arm tactics against consumers.

      I agree with you 100%. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your opinion on further releases.


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