RetireSafe Strongly Supports a Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Owner’s
RetireSafe, a nonprofit grassroots advocacy group representing over 6,700 Massachusetts seniors, and more than 400,000 nationwide, strongly supports the enactment of a Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Owner’s Right to Repair Act to protect older drivers who depend on independent repair shops to fix and maintain their vehicles. Car dealer repair monopolies harm all consumers, and none more than the older citizens of the Commonwealth. A Right to Repair Act will ensure the continued consumer choice of affordable, convenient vehicle repairs at locations drivers know and trust to provide quality service -- not just car dealers!
If independent repair shops continue to lose the ability to access all of the necessary diagnostic and repair information they need, one day soon motorists will be stuck with no feasible alternative to the car dealers and the shops directly or indirectly tied to the automakers. Car and truck owners, having perhaps spent many thousands of dollars for their vehicles, will lose the right to have their vehicles repaired at a shop of their choosing. It’s happening now, and with ever more information withheld from the independent shops, the situation will only worsen. With hundreds and hundreds of dealers closing in recent years, older drivers may well be stuck with little or no choice in the care and repair of their cars and trucks. This is simply unacceptable! These soon-to-be-stranded Massachusetts seniors desperately need the Right to Repair Act enacted into law.
By withholding some of the technical information needed to service the various systems on our vehicles, the car companies have created car dealer monopolies that will severely disadvantage seniors, and everyone else. Forcing seniors to go to a car dealer creates a safety hazard for those who need immediate repairs, but may not be near a dealership. The costs (as numerous studies indicate) are higher, hurting seniors on low or fixed incomes. Finally, the car dealer monopoly may well end the ability of seniors to fix and maintain their vehicles, and thus to drive at all! This is tremendous blow to senior independence, especially in rural areas. Some studies of older Americans identify losing the ability to drive as more frightening than even the loss of a spouse or the poor health of a child.
The only way to ensure the safety, financial well-being, and independence of Massachusetts seniors is to enact the Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Owner’s Right to Repair Act.
Thair Phillips, President