The renewed fight over "right to repair" has taken another turn just weeks after Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative that expands access to vehicle data.
The measure updates the state's 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.
But now major automakers allege in a federal lawsuit that the revised law poses cybersecurity and vehicle safety risks and the short timeline sets an "impossible task" for compliance.
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation — which represents General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen and other automakers — filed the suit Nov. 20 in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, requesting that it find the law "unenforceable because it is unconstitutional" and conflicts with federal laws.
The group also is asking the court to "temporarily and permanently" block the law, which is scheduled to take effect by Thursday, Dec. 3.
A spokesperson for American Honda Motor Co. said the automaker "is evaluating how to comply while continuing to protect our customers' privacy and safety." GM, Ford, Toyota and Hyundai deferred comment to the alliance.
The alliance said it does not comment on pending litigation.
Robert O'Koniewski, executive vice president of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association, said it is "virtually impossible" for automakers and franchised dealerships to comply with the revised law at this time.
"From the perspective of the manufacturers, I don't know how they're going to comply from the timeline because it's just not realistic," he told Automotive News. "It takes anywhere upwards of three to five years on development of a model-year vehicle."