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letters | weighing the ballot questions

Why spin our wheels on ‘right to repair’ measure?

Re “ ‘Right to Repair’: Skip Question 1” (Editorial, Oct. 26): I couldn’t understand why anyone would spend advertising dollars on what is presented as a moot point, but now it’s clear. If voters skip Question 1, the auto manufacturers would get an extra three years to comply.

What’s at stake is independent repair shops’ ability to diagnose problems in today’s complex automobiles. To do so, manufacturers must make trouble codes and other information available to businesses outside their dealer network. This is something an IT department should be able to set up relatively quickly, but the compromise gives the manufacturers until 2018 to do so. The original measure had a due date of 2015, with non-complying manufacturers forbidden to sell cars in Massachusetts.

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The manufacturers agreed to the compromise because it was obvious that this ballot question had a lot of support. I now understand why AAA endorses voting to pass Question 1. If less than 30 percent of voters vote “yes,” the compromise would be enacted instead of the original bill. Since everyone has agreed that this change will benefit the public, it seems ridiculous to wait an additional three years for it to take effect.

Matt Collins


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