Massachusetts Vehicle Data Access Lawsuit Goes to Trial

Massachusetts Vehicle Data Access Lawsuit Goes to Trial

The new law would require manufacturers to provide vehicle owners both access and control of the diagnostic and repair data generated by their vehicles.

All eyes in the auto care industry will once again turn to Massachusetts as the trial begins in Federal Court to hear the challenge brought by the vehicle manufactures against the voters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on the data access law. Approved by voters on Nov. 3, 2020, by an overwhelming 75-25 percent margin, the new law would require manufacturers to provide vehicle owners both access and control of the diagnostic and repair data generated by their vehicles.

The lawsuit, filed by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the car companies’ trade group, asks the court to overturn the data access ballot question based on a host of allegations including cyber security concerns, insufficient time to comply with the new data access requirements and their contention that the ballot initiative is preempted by federal law. The trial is expected to last about a week. 

“Auto Care is carefully following the trial as well as the verdict which likely will occur sometime later in the summer. Obviously, we hope that the court will uphold the will of the people of Massachusetts. However, no matter the result, the Association is committed to continuing the campaign to ensure that car owners, nationwide, have the ability to directly access their in-vehicle data in real time and to have that data available to the repair shop of their choice,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. 

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