The Road to Automotive Right to Repair

Right to repair is a hot-button issue in the realm of auto legislation these days, with the majority of US states putting forward bills that would make it law in 2021. Despite this, the right to repair has only become law in one US state, Massachusetts. 

We’ve put together this article to explain the right-to-repair law, elaborate on what the world could look like if it became a universally accepted concept, and discuss some of the arguments and companies against it. Check out this article on our blog for a more detailed look at consumers’ right to repair in different industries.

In this article:

What is a Right to Repair Law?

Automotive right to repair is a concept that states if your car breaks, you should be allowed and able to take on the repairs yourself or by taking it to a third-party repair space, such as a garage or body shop. While this has been a generally accepted fact of owning a car in the past, as technology has developed, there have been more and more aspects of cars that only OEMs would be able to repair, such as internal computer chips, etc. 

The right-to-repair law would state that manuals, schematics, software updates, unlocking capabilities, parts, and tools should be available to anyone and everyone that needs to make a repair, along with designing cars with third-party repairs in mind. 

People support this in the automotive world as well as in the realms of technology, as it would make replacements less frequent and access to proper repairs much more readily available.

This in turn could stimulate smaller independent businesses while drawing some income away from the larger corporate entities, along with helping to reduce technological waste.

Arguments Against the Right to Repair

While most states, legislators, and members of the public are for this concept, there are plenty of voices against the right to repair. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade group comprised of many major carmakers, such as Honda, Hyundai, Ford, and more, argued that sharing the telemetric data needed for universal repairs is dangerous, and even unconstitutional. Arguments against the right to repair include that with this data available, more hackers would be able to access vehicles easier, criminals would have access to important information, and intellectual property would be at risk. 

Strong counters exist to all of these claims, and none of them seem to have shifted public opinion, which overwhelmingly favors the law.

When Will the Right to Repair Become a Universal Reality?

The implementation of the law in the broader context of the United States has been delayed until 2025 as a result of campaigning and subsequent litigation by the Association of Automobile Manufacturers and Other Companies. However, some still believe that 2022 will be a big year for the right to repair. The European Commission has promised a proposal by the third quarter of the year, while similar bills have been gaining real traction in Canada. 

It’s also worth noting that some major companies are softening their stance on the issue, with tech titans like Microsoft taking a neutral position, after years of opposing potential legislation. The Biden Administration has vocally supported bills such as these, even going as far as signing an executive order. While there will likely be resistance from major companies and industry partnerships for some time, it’s clear that the right to repair cars and technology is becoming a more and more popular concept. It’s just a matter of time until the laws become a reality. 

If you found this article interesting, check out our blog on the Parts Avatar website, where we have all sorts of pieces about cars and the automotive industry as a whole!

Buying Guides & Articles on Auto Parts

Articles and Guides written by auto parts experts to ensure you have all the required knowledge to make the correct purchase here at Parts Avatar.

Read all Guides & Articles

The features of the right to repair are:-

a. Make information available

b. Make parts and tools for devices available to the consumer

c. Allow for self-repair or third-party repair

The major concerns regarding the right to repair are:

a. Consumer safety

b. Security and privacy

c. Efficiency

d. Demand and supply of parts and tools

e. No incentive to innovate

persona image
Eric Smith
Right To Repair Advocate
A DIY geek, Eric combines his passion for automobiles and his deep engagement with right to repair issues to empower vehicle owners everywhere.