Skip to Content
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 1: Definitions

Section 1. As used in this chapter, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

''Dealer'', any person or business who, in the ordinary course of its business, sells or leases new motor vehicles to consumers or other end users pursuant to a franchise agreement and who has obtained a class 1 license pursuant to sections 58 and 59 of chapter 140 and diagnoses, services, maintains or repairs motor vehicles or motor vehicle engines pursuant to said franchise agreement.

''Fair and reasonable terms'', in determining whether a price is on ''fair and reasonable terms'' consideration may be given to relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

(i) the net cost to the manufacturer franchised dealerships for similar information obtained from manufacturers, less any discounts, rebates or other incentive programs;

(ii) the cost to the manufacturer for preparing and distributing the information, excluding any research and development costs incurred in designing and implementing, upgrading or altering the onboard computer and its software or any other vehicle part or component; provided, however, that amortized capital costs for the preparation and distribution of the information may be included;

(iii) the price charged by other manufacturers for similar information;

(iv) the price charged by manufacturers for similar information prior to the launch of manufacturer web sites;

(v) the ability of aftermarket technicians or shops to afford the information;

(vi) the means by which the information is distributed;

(vii) the extent to which the information is used, which includes the number of users, and frequency, duration and volume of use; and

(viii) inflation.

''Franchise agreement'', an oral or written arrangement for a definite or indefinite period in which a manufacturer or distributor grants to a motor vehicle dealer a license to use a trade name, service mark or related characteristic and in which there is a community of interest in the marketing of new motor vehicles or services related thereto at wholesale, retail, leasing or otherwise.

''Heavy duty vehicle'', any vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 14,000 pounds; provided, however, that heavy duty vehicles built to custom specifications sold in the commonwealth for commercial purposes shall not be required to comply with subsection (d) of section 2.

''Immobilizer system'', an electronic device designed for the sole purpose of preventing the theft of a motor vehicle by preventing the motor vehicle in which it is installed from starting without the correct activation or authorization code.

''Independent repair facility'', a person or business operating in the commonwealth that is not affiliated with a manufacturer or manufacturer's authorized dealer of motor vehicles, which diagnoses, services, maintains or repairs motor vehicles or motor vehicle engines; provided, however, that for the purposes of this chapter, a dealer, notwithstanding its affiliation with any manufacturer, shall be considered an independent repair facility for the purposes of those instances when said dealer diagnoses, services, maintains or repairs motor vehicles or motor vehicle engines that are not affiliated with the dealer's franchise manufacturer.

''Manufacturer'', any person or business engaged in the business of manufacturing or assembling new motor vehicles.

''Mechanical data'', any vehicle-specific data, including telematics system data, generated, stored in or transmitted by a motor vehicle used for or otherwise related to the diagnosis, repair or maintenance of the vehicle.

''Motor vehicle'', a vehicle, originally manufactured for distribution and sale in the United States, driven or drawn by mechanical power and manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads and highways, but excluding: (i) a vehicle that may be operated only on a rail line; (ii) a recreational vehicle or auto home equipped for habitation; (iii) an ambulance; (iv) a bus, motor coach or trackless trolley designed for the carriage of persons for hire or for school-related purposes; (v) vehicles used exclusively for the building, repair and maintenance of highways or designed primarily for use elsewhere than on the traveled part of ways; (vi) any vehicle excluded from the definition of ''motor vehicle'' in chapter 90; and (vii) a motorcycle, as defined in section 1 of chapter 90.

''Owner'', a person or business who owns or leases a motor vehicle registered in the commonwealth.

''Telematics system,'' any system in a motor vehicle that collects information generated by the operation of the vehicle and transmits such information, in this chapter referred to as ''telematics system data,'' utilizing wireless communications to a remote receiving point where it is stored.

''Trade secret'', anything tangible or intangible or electronically stored or kept which constitutes, represents, evidences or records intellectual property including secret or confidentially held designs, processes, procedures, formulas, inventions or improvements, or secret or confidentially held scientific, technical, merchandising, production, financial, business or management information, or anything within the definition in 18 U.S.C. 1839(3).