By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion magazine
Proponents of the “Right to Repair” bill being mothered through the Massachusetts legislature suffered a setback on April 5th when the anticipated Senate vote was scuttled by a non-debatable motion to table the matter until the next Senate session. The group used the time to debate what they felt was a more pressing issue.
The R2R bill, heavily lobbied by both supporters and opponents, would establish the Bay State as the first state to require OEMs to provide dealer-level information to the aftermarket. Those in favor say it’s an absolute necessity to give consumers more choice and those opposed say that such a move could expose trade secrets and that the info is already available.
The bill has already passed the state house; and the senate has essentially three choices: if they pass the bill, it becomes law. If it is voted down, the process has to start all over again from scratch and go through committees, etc. But if the senate does not act by May 2nd, the matter goes onto the general ballot in November and will be decided by the electorate, not the elected.
Under the proposed law, vehicle builders must make the information available but they are not required to make it easy. The information access required by R2R won’t be free, and OEMs will be allowed to charge for it. (Expect them to charge a lot.) But the new law will also have teeth— a vehicle maker failing to comply after a phase-in period would face fines of least $10,000 for each violation.
Several attempts to pass similar national legislation have failed to make it to a vote in Washington, D.C. It is expected that the Massachusetts senate will hold its vote before the May 2nd deadline and both sides say they are confident of victory.
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When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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The 33rd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Be the Best of the Best will take place February 7-9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.