The Alliance for Automotive Innovation on Tuesday asked a U.S. District Court for a temporary order barring enforcement of a recently passed ballot measure in Massachusetts that expands access to data related to vehicle maintenance and repair.
In the filing, the alliance argues that "unless a preliminary injunction is issued to prevent the data law from taking effect, automobile manufacturers will suffer irreparable harm from being forced to abandon the secure vehicle systems they have spent years building, in accordance with federal law, to keep drivers and passengers safe."
The auto trade group — which represents General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen and other automakers — first filed a federal lawsuit Nov. 20 in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, arguing the law is "unenforceable because it is unconstitutional" and conflicts with federal laws.
The ballot measure updates the state's "right to repair" law by requiring automakers to equip vehicles that use telematics — which collect and wirelessly transmit information such as crash notifications and remote diagnostics — with a standardized open-access data platform that is accessible to vehicle owners or third parties such as repair shops starting with the 2022 model year.
The alliance argues the new measure "makes personal driving data available to third parties with no safeguards to protect core vehicle functions and consumers' private information or physical safety."
It also said automakers, which can begin selling 2022 model-year vehicles as early as Jan. 2, 2021, could face "impossible compliance obstacles."
The Auto Care Association, a major supporter of the ballot initiative, said in a statement last week that it was "disappointed" to see the alliance's lawsuit after Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved the measure in November.
"Instead of working to find common ground, the manufacturers have continued to engage in a scare campaign regarding access to wireless mechanical data, aimed first at voters and now the courts," Bill Hanvey, CEO of the Auto Care Association, said in a statement. "Just like Massachusetts voters, we trust that the courts will see through the manufacturers' scare tactics and will throw out this baseless lawsuit."