Wednesday, 26 January 2022 08:33

After Subaru, Kia is Latest Automaker to Disable Tech in Massachusetts Over Right-to-Repair Issues

Written by Andrew Gutman, CarScoops


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Kia has now disabled its proprietary telematics system on vehicles sold in Massachusetts to comply with the state’s stringent right-to-repair laws.

Kia's system collects vehicle data only available to the manufacturer, which violates the laws that say the data needs to be accessible to anyone.


The whole point of these laws protecting individuals’ right to repair is if the data is only accessible to the manufacturer, not only would that force owners to go to dealerships for repairs when they might not want or be able to, it also raises questions of who the manufacturers could choose to share the data with.


Kia is the second automaker to do this after Subaru, which disabled its Starlink telematics system on Massachusetts-bound vehicles in November.


In Kia’s case, the similar Kia Connect system violated the Massachusetts right-to-repair laws, so rather than opening up the data to anyone, they simply disabled the system like Subaru did, saying in a press release it “may currently not be available for model year 2022 and newer vehicles sold or purchased in Massachusetts."


“The new law requires 2022 and later vehicles using a telematics system to be equipped with an interoperable, standardized and open access platform, but such a platform does not currently exist on the market, thus making it impossible,” read a statement put out by Kia America on Jan. 20.


Again, as it did in response to Subaru, the lobbyist group known as the Alliance for Automotive Innovation (AAI) tried to argue...

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