23 Jun, 2024

New Mass. right-to-repair law now being enforced

Local News

The law, which voters approved in 2020, requires certain vehicle information to be shared with buyers and independent repair shops. Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell began enforcement on June 1.

A judge paved the way for Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell to begin enforcing a new law that will require certain vehicle information to be shared with buyers and independent repair shops. Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe

On Thursday, Massachusetts Attorney general Andrea Campbell began enforcing the state’s new right-to-repair law following years of bitter debate and a wildly expensive ballot initiative that was approved by voters in 2020.

Here’s what to know about the new law.

In a nutshell, the law requires automakers selling cars in the state to provide customers and independent repair businesses with access to a type of information called “telematics.” The term refers to information that is first detected by a car and then transmitted wirelessly elsewhere. This information can be used to easily determine problems with a vehicle.

Newer cars are increasingly outfitted with telematics systems, making it so the vehicles automatically transmit this information to carmakers. In 2012, Massachusetts voters passed a similar law that made diagnostic information available to independent shops and

1 min read

Right to repair pact rejected by major players

Image credit: Depositphotos.com

*Editor’s note: This story has been updated with reaction from the Tire Industry Association

An apparent agreement between three groups representing auto repairers, collision shops and automakers in the US on automotive right to repair is being met with pushback from two of the biggest automotive aftermarket organizations in the country.

The Auto Care Association, which includes representation of the distribution, auto repair, tools and equipment and other sectors, bluntly called the “so-called” pact “a thinly veiled attempt to confuse lawmakers and drivers” in the headline of its press release.

MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers, which represents the supplier end of the aftermarket, said in a separate statement that the deal “falls short.”

The agreement between Automotive Service Association (ASA), the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRA) and Alliance for Automotive Innovation (AAI) includes promises to guarantee automotive repair choice for consumers across all vehicle technologies while affirming the 2014 national agreement on right to repair .

The trio said the new deal includes access to diagnostic and repair information, education and training and a level playing field for future advancements.

The Auto Care Association was critical of the details, noting that as an original signatory to the 2014

1 min read

Ongoing technician shortage continues to pose challenges

New reports are highlighting the consequences of the ongoing collision, auto, and diesel technician shortages including at least one college recently pausing its collision repair program due to low enrollment.

As the industry works to fill critical roles, details continue to emerge and highlight how available talent is affecting their businesses.

A 2022 survey commissioned by the Collision Engineering Program (CEP) indicated that there is a lack of awareness about collision repair careers, although people are open to exploring them. It found just 17% of survey respondents were “very familiar” with collision repair or engineering. The survey revealed that those who were familiar with the industry were more likely to pursue a career within it.

It also found that respondents with less than 10 years of work experience were more likely to switch their careers to collision engineering when compared to others who’ve worked in a separate industry for more than a decade.

Fox Business noted in a recent report that if the automotive repair shortage continues to worsen, it’s likely to keep exacerbating wait times and driving up the cost of repairs.

“We’re starting to see a lot of the old timers time out of this repair industry,” Scott

1 min read

Würth Additive Group CEO joins 3D Printing in Auto Repair Task Force

Industrial 3D printing specialist Würth Additive Group has announced its CEO AJ Strandquist has joined new task force focused on the use of additive manufacturing (AM) technology within the automotive repair industry.

The 3D Printing in Auto Repair Task Force has bold ambitions to revolutionize the automotive collision repair process with 3D printed parts. The goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of automotive repair by allowing collision repair professionals to access replacement parts faster and on-demand, while minimizing inventory, waste and environmental impact. The task force also said to be exploring the potential for 3D printing custom parts and components that are not currently available through traditional manufacturing methods. Würth Additive aims to support the initiative with printed parts via its advanced digital inventory management program DIS3DP.

The task force was initially launched in April this year by AM veteran Harold Sears and is thought to be an industry first. Sears, who has spent more than three decades working with rapid prototyping and AM technologies, was formerly Technical Leader of Ford’s Additive Manufacturing Technologies and led the integration of 3D printing technologies into Ford’s manufacturing environment. Most recently, he was appointed Additive Manufacturing Senior Advisor for IperionX, a

1 min read

Garage that offers low-cost car repairs to those in need opens in Beavercreek

Owner and founder Terri Fleck was inspired by her father, who was a lifelong automotive mechanic, and her work as a social worker, in which she consistently saw clients with issues fixing their cars or otherwise getting reliable transportation.

“It was a recurring theme,” Fleck said Monday. “’How can I get my car fixed? I can’t afford that.’ So it’s always been in the back of my mind, like we need to do something about this.”

After doing some research, Fleck discovered that there were few, if any, offerings of this kind in the region, save for church or charity events and folks who would do some work on the weekends. After working with The Lift Garage in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Impact Garage was formed in 2021.

At first, Impact’s mechanics worked out of their own garages, and in space rented from other businesses. Beavercreek Christian Church purchased the property at Industrial Lane, renting it to Impact Garage, and the organization held a soft opening at the shop on Industrial Drive on Sept. 11.

Impact Garage serves both full-market retail customers and income-based customers, and offers factory-scheduled maintenance, oil changes, tire service, A/C, brakes, computer diagnostics and more. Technicians will also

1 min read

OEMs, analysts share expected automotive trends that will shape 2024

Brand Innovators has compiled OEM insights heading into the new year related to anticipated artificial intelligence (AI), electric vehicle (EV) and sustainability trends.

Automaker perspectives on what lies ahead for the industry could prove useful for repairers who are looking forward to determining how to prepare their facilities for upcoming needs.

Angela Zepeda, Hyundai’s chief marketing officer, told Brand Innovators that she expects to see a number of technological advancements next year.

“Electric vehicles, which cooled in 2023, will continue to increase in adoption in 2024,” Zepeda said. “Autonomous vehicles, while still in their infancy, will begin to increase exponentially over the next couple of years. Cars will continue to become more connected, communicating with other software systems and collecting data from their surroundings.”

Those who’ve been keeping tabs on Hyundai’s activities throughout the past year might not find her comments entirely surprising. After all, it was announced in August that it and Kia would invest $50 million into a Canadian AI semiconductor company in order to integrate AI into future models.

Hyundai said the investment in Tenstorrent will allow its vehicles, as well as Kia and Genesis models, to incorporate robotics and advanced air mobility (AAAM) into auto designs.

1 min read

All-Female Auto Repair Shop Lets Clients Get Mani-Pedis While Waiting For Their Cars

Girls Auto Clinic (GAC) was founded in 2013 by Patrice Banks (Girls Auto Club Facebook)

A Pennsylvania entrepreneur left her 6-figure engineering job to volunteer at mechanic shops around her area to learn how to fix cars, and founded the Girls Auto Clinic when she was finished.

The GAC is the first of its kind in the nation, and offers car care memberships, car care education classes, and hands-on mechanic workshops for women looking to learn the skills for themselves.

Patrice Banks was working at DuPont, and decided to double her workload and enroll in a mechanic’s night school, where the 30-year-old was the only girl in a class full of 18 and 19-year-old boys.

“I was tired of feeling helpless and having to go talk to a guy,” she told the Int. Business Times. “I was afraid I was going to be taken advantage of.”

The fear is mutual Patrice, but unlike this reporter, she didn’t give up learning about how to build cars, and after accumulating enough experience she opened GAC in Upper Darby, PA, in 2013 with some pretty excellent business ideas based on a decade of dreading oil changes.

“Me and my girlfriend that I worked

1 min read