TO THE EDITOR:
I was quite dismayed to have read "High-tech systems fuel fight for vehicle data" and "Whose data is it? Battle moves to two statehouses" (Nov. 4), which carried the water for the right-to-repair coalition without checking their so-called facts.
Despite their alarmist assertions about 100 million vehicles with "repair constraints," the reality is that, in Massachusetts, there has not been a single case of which I am aware reported to our attorney general of a repairer being unable to conduct a repair due to a lack of access to vehicle diagnostic or service information. We have laws in place that give any repairer access to the information and data he or she would need to fix any vehicle; any information provided by the factories to dealers for vehicle repairs must be made available to independent repair shops.
The latest right-to-repair scheme is a thinly veiled data grab that will lead to the violation of consumer privacy rights and access to proprietary codes that control emission and other vehicle operating systems as well as car owners' nonvehicle-related personal information. It is also an intellectual property grab that will allow aftermarket parts manufacturers to improperly access patented information for the purposes of reverse engineering replacement parts. None of this data is needed to repair vehicles.
If the goal of the right-to-repair crowd really is repair, the law is already on their side. But the ballot initiative they are pushing is misguided and not in the best interests of Massachusetts' motorists.
ROBERT O'KONIEWSKI, Executive vice president, Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association, Boston