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Judge delays Massachusetts Right to Repair court case decision

While the decision was scheduled for March 7, the judge has now stated that he would issue a final judgement no later than April 15

Bethesda, Md.—United States District Judge Douglas Woodlock issued a notice on Tuesday informing of a delay to provide a decision on the court case due to “unforeseen and unforeseeable circumstances, principally involving supervening but insistent writing responsibilities in other matters.” 

While the decision was scheduled for March 7, the judge has now stated that he would issue a final judgement no later than April 15.

Approved by Massachusetts voters on Nov. 3, 2020 by an overwhelming 75-25 percent margin, the new Right to Repair law would require manufacturers to provide vehicle owners both access and control of the diagnostic and repair data generated by their vehicles. Subsequent to the vote, the car company trade group, Alliance for Automotive Innovation filed a lawsuit in November 2020 asking the court to overturn the data access ballot question based on a host of allegations including cyber security concerns, insufficient time to comply with the new data access requirements and their contention that the ballot initiative is preempted by federal law. 

“While we are disappointed in the delay, we continue to hope that the court will ultimately uphold the will of the people of Massachusetts,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association and Aaron Lowe, SVP, regulatory and government affairs, Auto Care Association. “However, no matter the result, Auto Care Association is committed to continuing the campaign to ensure that car owners, nationwide, have the ability to directly access their in-vehicle data in real time and to have that data available to the repair shop of their choice.”

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