Do I have to take my car to a dealer? Why Right-To-Repair is So Important Part 1

In a world where we have more electronic and automated devices than ever, it seems like part of our life goes on hold when one breaks. How long can you go without your cell phone, for example? It may be pretty tough – you’ll miss phone calls from your boss or spouse, you can’t check social media for entertainment, etc. But what if when something broke, your only option was to take it to the manufacturer and pay whatever they demanded to get it fixed?In a world of no right-to-repair laws, that’s exactly what you’d be living in, and it wouldn’t be cheap.

The basic concept behind right-to-repair is that you, the buyer of a product, own the device you purchased and should be able to access information and parts to repair it. The manufacturer has no right to have a monopoly on parts or service because once they sell the device, it isn’t theirs anymore. In the automotive world, this is huge.

Up until a landmark case in 2013, automakers were legally free to keep things like schematics, diagnostic tools, and specialty tools out of the hands of John Q. Everyman… and at the same time, out of the hands of independent repair shops and even the national chains. This meant that for major repairs, especially electronic ones, you had to go to the dealer to get your car repaired.

In 2013, Massachusetts passed the first major right to repair law for automobiles. The Massachusetts Right to Repair Initiative, as it was known, said that all people from regular owners to full on repair shops had a right to information and tools already available to dealers.

Shortly after, most automakers agreed to follow the ruleset of Massachusetts nationwide. By doing this, everyone everywhere now had access to technical information and tools on their cars.

Have any questions about these laws and how they impact you? Feel free to call Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill at 704-545-4597, email us at kenmanchester1@gmail.com, or check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/ManchesterAutoAndTireOfMintHill