Federal Decision on “Right to Repair” Case Delayed in MA

A Massachusetts federal judge has delayed a ruling in Alliance for Automotive Innovation v. Healey to Nov. 2, 2021.

U.S. Massachusetts District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock scheduled a ruling by Sept. 20 in the case of automakers suing over an expanded “Right to Repair” law in the state, which Massachusetts voters approved in November 2020. The case went to hearing in June. Woodluck’s delay is caused by staffing and pandemic concerns.

GlassBYTEs.com previously reported that the 2020 initiative would require 2022 model year cars and later sold in Massachusetts to use a telematics system to have inter-operable, standardized and open-access platform. An issue in the case was the manufacturer group’s argument that the pending state law pre-empted federal statute.

Proponents sought to ensure that auto glass companies have access to a vehicle’s telematics system. The Auto Glass Safety Council was included in the large coalition supporting the initiative for fear that consumer safety might be jeopardized if auto glass shops do not have access to the latest telematics information for late model vehicles.

In May, Tommy Hickey, director of the Right to Repair Coalition in Massachusetts, told glassBYTEs.com, that his group was “very disappointed the manufacturers have chosen profits over customers in bringing the litigation after the initiative was approved by 75% of the voters.” At the time, he was confident that the federal court would reject the manufacturers’ argument.

Hickey told glassBYTEs.com he saw similarities between the present 2020-2021 initiative and the successful initiative in 2012-2013. Several bills introduced in Massachusetts, according to Hickey, would give manufacturers more time to comply with the current initiative as far out as model year 2025, but the coalition is in opposition of the measures.

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