Saturday, June 25, 2011

Right to Repair Bill

I’ve been researching the Right to Repair issue to get beneath the crust and understand the underlying arguments for and against the bill. It was first introduced in the U.S. Congress just before September 11, 2001 and was lost in the aftermath of al-Qaeda’s attacks on us. Since then, it has been introduced in each session of Congress but has died in committee.

The strategy has shifted to passing it in a state. It doesn’t matter which one; once the “secret” codes and other repair information are made available anywhere, it is instantaneously available everywhere.

I found an article by Robert Charette on an IEEE blog that does a much better job of describing the issue and arguments than I could do. There are numerous links to source information and easy-to-understand explanations of the practical ramifications of passing such a law. Read Robert’s article here. 

What I’m asking is input from readers here regarding their level of support for this bill. On the surface it seems that no one would be against Right to Repair if only because of the title. Who’s against consumer rights? On the other hand, will this lead to knock-off diagnostic equipment and car parts made in China? Just another giveaway of technology that would result in lost U.S. jobs?

Weigh in with your thoughts and vote in the poll at the right.


  1. Lady out of collegeJune 25, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    At first I thought that we should just let the Dealers keep their codes then I went to a Dealer and told him I did not know what was wrong with my car. He said don't worry. We will do a diagnostic and then we will know and can give you and estimate. My dad told me that it would cost about $75. I cancelled the appointment and called a service place in Bourne. They told me that they could do a diagnostic on any car as they have a very expensive machine. They told me what the cost would be and when it was done and also said that the diagnostic would cost $75, it turned out to be something with my engine, but thankfully it only cost $110 plus the diagnostic. I liked these people, they told me costs upfront and guaranteed their parts and labor for two years.

    My dad paid over $100 because when he gased up, his engine light came on. He said you'd think they could just check it by hand as it is the cause of the engine light 75% of the time.

    Let's just give the diagnostic codes to everyone. I don't trust 50% of the independents and don't trust 98% of the dealers.

  2. Randy this issue really appears to have two sides and I am not yet sure which side is telling the truth, the whole truth.....I have been subjected to the General Motors 'Service Engine Light' mystique for over 15 years, in two different light trucks. On one hand, our local mechanics (good ones I believe, in Sandwich!) send me off to Mr Goodwrench every time they fail to make it go out. On the other hand, the GM dealer swears that everyone can get the codes just by purchasing the software, however, these independent repair facilities just don't have the proper training. Who do we believe? I have always believed that dealership employees are fully qualified/certified to work on GM how does the consumer know that any independent repair facility, once provided the codes....will they be qualified to perform them? I do not envy this challenge you are facing. Up front it sounds like a good deal for the consumer...give up those codes..... but will we be forced to return for followup work because the correct repair procedures were not followed due to a lack of training. A conundrum for sure. This is a great blog issue...I am sure you will get a lot of feedback on this. Thanks for asking...

  3. There is an independent in Falmouth that has a machine with the software for MOST vehicles that are sold in the US. They guarantee there work for two years, including labor. I would put its name here, but I am unsure it would be acceptable.

  4. @Anonymous: You can say the name of the business. No charge for the (spark) plug.


  5. Randy,

    The company is the Falmouth Motor Car. It has two locations, one in Teaticket and one in I believe Pocasset.

  6. Thank you Representative for taking a good look at this issue. We appreciate it. The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition.

  7. I want to repair what I own
    Therefore I´ll have to learn new things, and gain more knowledge
    No one will stop that while I am an American living within America...


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