Friday, 03 December 2021 18:57

Massachusetts Right to Repair Case Appears Nearly Ripe for Decision

Written by Seyfarth Shaw, JD Supra


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The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation quietly filed a stipulation the day after Thanksgiving in Alliance for Automotive Innovation v. Healy, a lawsuit challenging recent amendments to the Massachusetts Right to Repair Law (the “Data Law”).

The stipulation appears to resolve an evidentiary dispute that arose between the parties in October concerning the ability of OEMs to comply with recent amendments to the Data Law.


With the exception perhaps of responses to interrogatories served by the attorney general on Auto Innovators, the stipulation also would seem to address the issues that have been preventing a Massachusetts federal district court judge from issuing his long-awaited decision following a bench trial held last summer.


The lawsuit filed by Auto Innovators seeks an injunction barring enforcement of the Data Law and its requirement that, commencing with Model Year 2022, vehicles sold in Massachusetts using telematics systems be equipped with “an inter-operable, standardized and open access platform” that will enable customers and independent repair shops to access mechanical data from those systems.


In a stipulation filed Nov. 26, the attorney general and Auto Innovators agreed Subaru of America is a member of Auto Innovators and is the supplier of Subaru vehicles to another independently owned and operated entity that distributes those vehicles to other independently owned and operated dealers in New England.


The parties further stipulated as a direct result of the Data Law, Subaru decided it will not make its Starlink system---a telematics system that “includes features such as automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, remote engine start, remote door lock/unlock, stolen vehicle recovery, enhanced roadside assistance, maintenance notification, vehicle health reports and diagnostic reports”---available to Massachusetts residents who purchase or lease MY22 Subaru vehicles.


According to the stipulation, Subaru implemented this policy in or about June 2021, contemporaneously with...

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