Auto Industry Scare Campaign Is Trying to Trick Voters Into Killing a Landmark Right to Repair Law
The increasing complexity of tech-heavy automobiles has given rise to a war over consumers’ right to repair their own property. Big businesses like John Deere argue that its products are simply too complex to entrust maintenance to a third party and that all work should be done in-house, effectively monopolizing repairs. The auto industry, too, is trying to hog this lucrative business all to itself, and is now going as far as launching a fearmongering ad campaign that hints wireless diagnosis technology will somehow lead to sexual violence against women—all in response to a consumer protection, pro-right-to-repair bill in Massachusetts.
This Nov. 3, Massachusetts residents will vote on Question 1; a ballot measure that will require automakers to integrate standardized wireless diagnosis systems into 2022 model year vehicles onward. The measure would expand on a landmark law approved by voters in 2012 that barred car companies from locking out independent shops using proprietary software—a consumer protection law that has become a model for right-to-repair laws nationwide.
In short, it would further democratize the repair of vehicles, and automakers are having none of it, which is why they funded the ad linked below.