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Do You Have a Right to Repair What You Own?

Design News -- Companies, engineers, and product designers should keep their eyes on Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition (MRRC), which comprises independent mechanics and parts retailers, has worked on a "right to repair" ballot initiative for the November 2012 election. The coalition contends auto manufacturers will not sell their members the same diagnostic and repair tools sold to the manufacturer's dealers. If passed by voters, the law would compel vehicle manufacturers to make tools and repair information available for anyone to buy. I suppose buyers in the Bay State could resell to anyone they wish, thus making the "close to the vest" tools and information widely available.

Of course, the authorized auto dealers want to protect their profitable repair and service businesses.


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Submitted Aug 12, 2012 By: doeslayersr
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Author Topic: Do You Have a Right to Repair What You Own? Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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itzagasgasgas1
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 7:47:48 PM

asked and answered
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Aug 15, 2012 6:22:49 AM

Seems to me it's a good way to distract from the issues that are really important to the survival of the country. Can we say "smoke screen"?
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Aug 14, 2012 6:33:52 AM

funny how those things always show up in highly contested election years. Where is that help for the little guy the rest of the time?
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sparky808
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 1:25:45 PM

Thank you for posting.
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Martinman
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 10:24:17 AM

91Hilux from New Haven posted...

"Wow. Actually something that will help regular people. Let's see how far this goes because I've lived in a place where the Corporations are allowed to withhold this information from the consumers: Japan."

-----

And Japanese are trying to here as well.

Japanese auto manufacturers are apparently thinking ahead - terms of the warranty on some models now state the warranty is void, if you have the repairs not done at a factory authorized repair center. Who controls 'who' is a factory authorized repair center. Who determines if the warranty has been voided?

Realize that there is a number of internet-based repair data information services, that provide this information. For example, AllData, IndentiFix, Mitchell, and others. These are subscription-based services, that can get quite expensive. As such, they represent a barrier to entry for those that don't have the money based upon the size of their repair business.
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jrs4125
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 7:51:35 AM

Bend over consumer
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driver169
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 5:22:32 AM

eBay??? LMFAO!!!!!!

You're joking, right?
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Amplion
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 1:32:44 AM

Don't buy any car that doesn't have the tools and parts available on eBay !!!
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Amtrgas
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 1:09:27 AM

I do repair what I own.

I also repair what I want.
The rest I leave to the professionals.
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 1:03:19 AM

Dealers will often jack up the price for service work and the sort of policies described here make it possible for them to do that with impunity in many cases.

As an example of inflated charges, I was having a small warranty job done and the mechanic told me that my air cleaner was dirty and should be changed. I told him to go ahead, then found the element cost $24 plus $8 to install it, a job that took 2 minutes at most. I imagine I could have bought the element in a parts store for much less as well.

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cashpayer
Sophomore Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 1:02:52 AM

Yes. If I want to repair my own car or take it to someone of my choice I should be able to do it. If they need to be forced to make the tools and knowledge available to the public then so be it. No monopolies to favor overpriced dealerships.
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Dodge_Me
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:57:24 AM

IMHO we should have all the data about the vehicle we buy, since we are paying more than we ever have on vehicles, we should be able to at least purchase the details from the manufacturers and repair at our own risk.
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chuckwthompson
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:56:51 AM

We should have the right to repair our own vehicles.
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Zonk
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:55:26 AM

YES!
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BobD2009
Champion Author Long Island

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:54:08 AM

Old news.
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LCSTEELERBOB
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:53:02 AM

old issue
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lewpuckett
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:52:09 AM

old
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bobdec
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:48:55 AM

Repeat
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jetskijerry
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:45:09 AM

These tools should be made available to independent mrchanics. Otherwise, the price of service will be dictated by the manufacturers.
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ShadowACE
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:44:26 AM

This article is a bit out of date. The ballot initiative was ready to rock and roll but there was a last-minute compromise agreement between the two parties and that has been signed into law by the Governor of the Commonwealth. The question will still appear on the ballot in November because there isn't enough time to reformat the ballots now, but they're trying to convince people to ignore the question because the matter is already settled. I won't be surprised if a LOT of people vote on the question anyway, just to let them know how we really feel about the issue.
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carinthuist
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:42:44 AM

yes
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LetemEatCake
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:41:18 AM


Too many vehicle require special tools to remove and add parts, such as star shaped screw drivers to remove headlight systems. Back in the day you could not get one of those for love nor money! It forced you to go to the dealer. E-Bay has loosened this up quite a bit lately.

By the way Obama has nothing to do with this...auto manufacturers have been doing this for eons.

And as one poster pointed out...if the part looks the same, has the same connections, brand (the high priced ones) make no difference. But you need to be a good shade tree mechanic to be able to substitute and save the money! Many parts are interchangeable.
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southrob
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:40:15 AM

you would think or are we turning into russia
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regout
Champion Author Quebec

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:40:10 AM

Old news.
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ShadowACE
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:40:04 AM

cheapchickKY says: "If you own it, you have the right to do what you want with it. If the manufacturers want to keep diagnostics with dealers, they should be able to. Are the independents willing to pay for training? Willing to take on warranty work? Willing to chip in on recalls and lawsuits"

That's not such a swell idea, KY. I took my wife's car to a dealer for some "routine" service - the owner's manual says the timing belt should be replaced around 55-60k miles. When it got to 65k or so I decided it was time to stop tempting fate and get it done, so off to the dealer I went. The service writer smiled and said that the timing belt was a flat-rate job at $550, and then there was the $99 "diagnostic fee." I said "what diagnostic? The book says it needs to be done. There's nothing there to 'diagnose.'" Didn't matter. EVERY repair (except oil changes and brake work added an extra $99 to the total. My independent repair shop could have easily replaced the timing belt and it would have cost me about $425, but I figured I'd give that one to the dealer because that car has a 100k mile power train warranty and I wanted to be sure that wasn't affected. The dealers have been holding us hostage for a long time with this stuff. A lot of the independent shops have exactly the same diagnostic equipment the dealer shops have, but they can't get all of the same software. A lot of the independent technicians have worked at dealers shops, have been faftory/dealer trained, and are quite capable of doing the same repairs in the own shop that they did before in a dealer's shop. The idea that a technician isn't capable of repairing any vehicle unless it's done at a dealer's facility is ridiculous and demeaning. I've known techs who have repaired virtually every make of car from Acura to Zundapp. I've even known a few who built their own cars (and planes, too) from the ground up. Just because they are not (presently) employed by a dealer doesn't mean they're not every bit as capable as any of those dealer shop employees.

[Edited by: ShadowACE at 8/13/2012 12:41:03 AM EST]
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crreed1
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:34:58 AM

ok
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UseLessGasFolks
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:34:08 AM


Was there a story about New Jersey doing the same thing?
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1fulltank
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:33:19 AM

So much for "free" enterprise.
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10k
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:33:14 AM

sure do..

judgemobile: that would be funny, if it wasn't so truly sad..
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rippinusoff
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:31:33 AM

yes
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jkpsr
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:30:19 AM

This seems to be taking government intervention to extremes.
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judgemobile
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:28:34 AM

Obama says I did not make that--so how can I fix it ?
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Thomtec
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:28:30 AM

Ok
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rollercoaster
All-Star Author Hartford

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:27:02 AM

ok
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probedude2
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:25:06 AM

Do You Have a Right to Reprogram the ECU in What You Own?
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frostyWV
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:24:54 AM

good
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Rageagainsttm
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:23:28 AM

yea
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lou30
Sophomore Author Miami

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:21:45 AM

Fantastic if this passes and it starts a movement. I hated having to go to Toyota several years back to get something replaced because there was no generic and 3 mechanics told me that only Toyota was able to do it.
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Bigwaynef
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:21:33 AM

ya gotta ask dear ole Obamama
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justmedc
Veteran Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:20:20 AM

should get to pick where i spend the money i work for
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cheapchickKY
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:20:19 AM

If you own it, you have the right to do what you want with it. If the manufacturers want to keep diagnostics with dealers, they should be able to. Are the independents willing to pay for training? Willing to take on warranty work? Willing to chip in on recalls and lawsuits?

Want to make it like drugs, where the patent goes away after 7 years? How many independents would purchase & train in outdated technology?

Ever notice a tag on electronics that if you open it, then the warranty is void?
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Vitobug
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:18:23 AM

ok
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mrbee
Champion Author Little Rock

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:18:18 AM

Sounds good.
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bradley1969
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:16:12 AM

OK..
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mfeldstein
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:14:57 AM

This article is at least a week old.
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dieselme2011
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:14:31 AM

k
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MDTDriver
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:14:23 AM

I do what I want to, NO government tell me what I can not to my car.
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DrLyon
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:13:55 AM

Right to repair, go...
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arb0526
Champion Author Greensboro

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:13:06 AM

Repost from over a week ago.
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firasatali
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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2012 12:12:48 AM

ok
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