Skip to Content

Session Law

2012

Jump to:

Chapter 368 AN ACT PROTECT MOTOR VEHICLE OWNERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES IN REPAIRING MOTOR VEHICLES.

Be it enacted by the People, and by their authority, as follows:

The General Laws of Massachusetts shall be amended by inserting after chapter 93I the following new chapter 93J:-

CHAPTER 93J
MASSACHUSETTS RIGHT TO REPAIR ACT

Section 1. As used in this chapter, the following words shall, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning, have the following meanings:
"Authorized repair facility", a person or business operating in the commonwealth that is affiliated, by contract or otherwise, with an authorized dealer or motor vehicle manufacturer and is engaged in the diagnosis, service, maintenance or repair of motor vehicles or motor vehicle engines.
"Dealer", a person or business authorized by a manufacturer to lease or sell the manufacturer's new motor vehicles at retail; provided, however, that the dealer is also engaged in the diagnosis, service, maintenance or repair of motor vehicles or motor vehicle engines.
"Immobilizer system", an electronic device equipped on a vehicle for the sole purpose of preventing the theft of that vehicle by preventing a vehicle from being started unless the correct key code is present.
"Independent repair facility", a person or business operating in the commonwealth engaged in the diagnosis, service, maintenance or repair of motor vehicles or motor vehicle engines and that is not affiliated with a manufacturer or a dealer.
"Manufacturer", any person or business engaged in the business of manufacturing or assembling new motor vehicles.
"Owner", a person or business who owns, leases or otherwise has the legal right to use and possess a motor vehicle or the agent of that person.
"Trade secret", anything tangible or intangible or electronically kept or stored, which constitutes, represents, evidences or records a secret scientific, technical, merchandising, production or management information, design, process, procedure, formula, invention or improvement.
Section 2. Commencing with new motor vehicle model year 2015 and thereafter, no manufacturer of a motor vehicle may sell or lease or offer for sale or lease, directly or through a dealer, a new motor vehicle without affording to the owner access to the same diagnostic and repair information relative to said new motor vehicle that the manufacturer makes available to its dealers and authorized repair facilities.
The manufacturer shall maintain a diagnostic and repair information system which shall enable the owner of the motor vehicle or the owner's designated independent repair facility, the capability to utilize such system via the worldwide web or other electronically available manufacturer repair information system on a hourly, daily, monthly or yearly subscription basis at cost and terms that are no greater than fair market value and nondiscriminatory as compared with the terms and costs charged to dealers or authorized repair facilities.
Manufacturers shall provide access to their diagnostic and repair information system through a non-proprietary vehicle interface that complies with SAE J2534 as required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 40 CFR § 86.1808-01(f). The manufacturer's diagnostic and repair information system shall provide the same diagnostic and repair information, including technical updates, which the manufacturer makes available to its dealers and authorized motor vehicle repair facilities. The content of said diagnostic and repair information system shall be in the same form and shall be accessed in the same manner as is available to dealers and authorized motor vehicle repair facilities utilizing said information system. Manufacturers shall exclude diagnostic, service and repair information necessary to reset a vehicle immobilizer system. Information necessary to reset a vehicle immobilizer system shall be obtained by dealers, authorized motor vehicle repair facilities, motor vehicle owners and independent motor vehicle repair facilities through the secure data release model system as currently used by the National Automotive Service Task Force or other known, reliable and accepted law enforcement Internet-based systems.
Section 3. For vehicles manufactured from 2002 through the model year 2014, a manufacturer of motor vehicles sold in the commonwealth shall make available for purchase by owners of motor vehicles manufactured by the manufacturer and by independent repair facilities the same diagnostic and repair information, including repair technical updates, that the manufacturer makes available to its dealers and authorized repair facilities through the manufacturer's world wide web diagnostic and repair information system or other electronically available manufacturers repair information system.
All content of said repair information system shall be made available to owners and to independent repair facilities in the same form and manner and to the same extent as is made available to dealers and authorized repair facilities utilizing said repair information system.
Manufacturers shall exclude diagnostic, service and repair information necessary to reset a vehicle immobilizer system. Information necessary to reset a vehicle immobilizer system shall be obtained by dealers, authorized repair facilities, owners, and independent repair facilities through the secure data release model system as currently used by the National Automotive Service Task Force or other known, reliable and accepted law enforcement Internet-based systems.
Access to the manufacturer's diagnostic and repair information system shall be available for purchase by owners and independent repair facilities on an hourly, daily, monthly or yearly subscription basis and at cost and terms that are no greater than fair market value and nondiscriminatory as compared with the terms and costs charged to dealers or authorized repair facilities.
Each manufacturer shall make available for purchase by owners and independent repair facilities all diagnostic repair tools incorporating the same diagnostic, repair and wireless capabilities that the manufacturer makes available to its dealers and authorized motor vehicle repair facilities. These tools shall incorporate the same functional repair capabilities that the manufacturer makes available to dealers and authorized repair facilities. The cost and other terms of any sale of such tools to owners and to independent repair facilities shall be no greater than fair market value and nondiscriminatory as compared to the terms and costs charged to dealers or authorized repair facilities.
Section 4. Nothing in this chapter shall require a motor vehicle manufacturer to divulge a trade secret.
Section 5. Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted or construed to abrogate, interfere with, contradict or alter the terms of any agreement made by a manufacturer, dealer, or authorized repair facility executed and in force as of the effective date of this chapter. On and after January 1, 2013, no person shall make or enter an agreement that purports to waive, avoid, restrict or limit a manufacturer's compliance with this chapter and any such agreement shall be void and unenforceable.
Section 6. Any violation of this chapter shall be deemed to be an unfair method of competition and an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the conduct of trade or commerce in violation of section 2 of chapter 93A. In the event of a dispute concerning the determination of fair market value under this chapter, the parties may agree to binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association or, absent such agreement, either party may initiate an action in the superior court for relief under chapter 231A.

ELECTION, 2012.


Error