February 24, 2010

Architecture Meets Legislation [8:31 am]

In a battle for control: Money flows in auto bill battle [pdf]

A measure that could make car repairs less expensive for consumers heads to a vote on Beacon Hill today amid a torrent of lobbying by some of the country’s most powerful corporations.

[...] Right to Repair has been proposed in Congress and to eight state legislatures since 2001, but has never been enacted.

In Massachusetts, the legislation was first proposed in 2006. Automakers’ fierce opposition is rooted in the concern that if they release manufacturing information about parts, the after-market parts industry will make and sell them more cheaply.

[...] “I’m just looking out for my interests,’’ said owner Ernie Boch Jr. He said the Right to Repair proposal is like “going to the government and demanding Coke give the formula for their product.’’

Barry Steinberg, owner of four Direct Tire & Auto Service shops in Massachusetts, said he supports the measure because his shops cannot fix some cars, forcing them to send customers to dealerships, where they face higher costs.

“Legislators know their constituents are going to spend more money to fix their cars if this thing doesn’t go through,’’ he said. “That’s why these lobbyists are so scared.’’

Mass Right To Repair Coalition WWW site

Slashdot story: “Right To Repair” Bill Advances In Massachusetts

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