A similar ballot initiative passed by a 75% to 25% margin in Massachusetts in 2020 despite automakers spending more than $25 million to try to defeat it
Portland, Maine.—The Maine Right to Repair coalition declared a resounding victory on ballot Question 4 after it was passed by a large margin of voters.
“By voting yes on Question 4, Mainers have now joined Massachusetts in a growing national movement to update automotive Right to Repair laws for the modern age of connected cars,” said Tommy Hickey, Director of the Maine Automotive Right to Repair Committee. “Automakers are trying to monopolize the market on car and truck repairs but their customers, the voters, are acting overwhelmingly to put the brakes on them.”
Question 4 mandates that vehicle manufacturers make all mechanical information needed to diagnose, repair, and maintain cars and trucks, available to vehicle owners and authorized independent repair shops via an open access platform.
The specific question on the Maine ballot asked: “Do you want to require vehicle manufacturers to standardize on-board diagnostic systems and provide remote access to those systems and mechanical data to owners and independent repair facilities?”
A similar ballot initiative passed by a 75% to 25% margin in Massachusetts in 2020 despite automakers spending more than $25 million to try to defeat it. A national agreement in 2013 between automakers and the auto repair and auto parts industries forced automakers to provide access to repair and diagnostic codes and information but did not cover the rapidly expanding wireless technologies now installed in new vehicles.
The ballot initiatives in Massachusetts and Maine plug this loophole and require owners to be provided access to all the diagnostic and repair data generated by their vehicle so that they could opt to provide access to any dealer or repair shop that they choose during the lifetime of their car.
“This victory ensures that Maine families will continue to be able to rely on their local repair shop, who knows them and their vehicle and provides great value,” said Tim Winkeler, president and CEO of VIP Tire and Service of Auburn, Me.
Maine will become the sixth state to enact right to repair laws. Five states already have some type of right to repair. Laws in California, Minnesota, and New York pertain to electronic and digital equipment; in Massachusetts to cars and trucks; in Colorado to agricultural equipment.
“The voters of Maine and Massachusetts have strongly spoken to protect their automotive right to repair. We will continue to explore any, and all options until there is an updated national agreement in place,” said Hickey. “In the face of new wireless technologies, voters nationwide are demanding the right to repair the car or truck they own wherever they choose.”