"Right To Repair" laws have been debated for years, with automakers and dealers steadfastly opposed to any legislation requiring them to divulge the electronic secrets of their vehicles to independent repair shops. The little guys continue to cry foul, insisting that dealership mechanics get repair tools and software that are unavailable on the open market. The manufacturers claim they already provide enough repair information and what they don't disclose is proprietary and needs to be protected. The repair shops retort that manufacturers are putting them at an unfair disadvantage, accusing them of wanting to protect their dealers' revenue stream.

All that back and forth – along with the legislative gridlock that has benefitted the carmakers – could end soon in Massachusetts, according to The Wall Street Journal. A ballot measure in November would allow voters to bypass state lawmakers to put a Right To Repair law on the books.

The ballot initiative is backed by the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition, a group of independent mechanics and parts retailers, and supported by AAA Southern New England, whose membership was polled 88 percent in favor of Right To Repair, according to the report. A coalition spokesman told the WSJ that if its initiative succeeds, he expects ballot measures to be launched in other states like New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, where Right To Repair bills have stalled in state legislatures.

Who do you think is on the right side of this issue? Have your say in Comments and be sure to vote in our poll below.

Are right to repair laws necessary?
Yes. Dealers have an unfair advantage over independent mechanics. 1 (33.3%)
No. Automakers already provide repair data and need to protect proprietary information. 1 (33.3%)
I'm not sure. 1 (33.3%)

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