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Despite Compromise, AAA Still Pushing 'Right to Repair' Support

The car owner's group AAA wants the Right-to-Repair question passed in spite of recent compromise legislation.

Even though both sides of the "Right to Repair" question came together in September to urge voters not to vote on the initiative next month, Southern New England AAA is still pushing the measure. 

But in light of a compromise bill passed July 31, both sides of the "Right to Repair" debate had begun a campaign to urge voters not to vote on the ballot question next month. 

"Although it was too late to take this question off the ballot, people can feel confident that the issue has been addressed by the Legislature," Art Kinsman, the spokesman for the Right to Repair Coalition, said last month at the State House.

The compromise bill also led the Hamilton-Wenham League of Women's Voters to leave the question out of a voter information forum it held earlier this month where the question aboiut medical marijuana and physician-assisted suicide were both addressed by people on both sides of each question. 

Under the bill, automakers will be required make available to independent mechanics by 2018 all repair codes and other diagnostic information. The ballot requires that this information be made available by 2015.

In spite of this detente, AAA of Southern New England said that they are still urging voters to support the more aggressive right to repair law, according to the Boston Globe

The bill goes into effect on Nov. 6, the same day as the election. If it passes, it would invalidate the compromise law as of Jan. 1. Legislators would then have until 2015 to try to pass the bill again.

“Massachusetts is setting the standard by which this vital consumer protection issue is defined, and will be the model for the rest of the nation," Mark Shaw, AAA Southern New England chief executive, said. “Yes, the ‘right to repair’ legislation passed this year was a victory for consumers, but it doesn’t go far enough to assure that vehicle owners won’t have to compromise their repair and possible privacy rights due to a last-minute legislative loophole.”

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