Right to Repair gets federal clearance in Massachusetts

Aug. 23, 2023
The NHTSA offered approval for the state-level law that was passed in 2020 but faces courtroom battles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given Massachusetts its approval to implement its Right to Repair law, which was passed by state voters in 2020.

CBS News reports that the NHTSA had previously told automakers to ignore the state law, but this new reversal comes after lobbying from U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey.

In a press release, the Auto Care Association said that the NHTSA concluded that the data access provisions of Right to Repair are not preempted by the Federal Vehicle Safety Act.

From the ACA's released statement:

"As stated by the attorney general’s office, the evidence presented at the trial in Alliance for Automotive Innovation v. Campbell, No. 20-cv-12090 (D. Mass.), demonstrated that there are multiple approaches by which a vehicle manufacturer might implement the Data Access Law without violating the Federal Vehicle Safety Act or any other federal law. Under the Data Access Law, the types of wireless communication technologies that such a platform might utilize include, but are not limited to, cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Auto Care Association does not support a Bluetooth solution; short range wireless communication does not create the level playing field expected by the voters of Massachusetts."

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