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Associated Press: Right-to-Repair Referendum Clears Hurdle for Maine Ballot

Source: Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — A referendum campaign aimed at ensuring independent shops have the information needed to repair newer cars has qualified for the November ballot.

The secretary of state announced Tuesday that 74,686 signatures were validated for “Automotive Right to Repair” proposal. That’s about 7,000 more than needed.

Mirroring a 2020 law in Massachusetts, the proposed referendum targets automobile diagnostic data that is transmitted wirelessly from vehicles directly to manufacturers — information that independent shops currently cannot access.

The goal is to make sure independent repair shops have access to all information they need to fix cars at a fair price, said Tim Winkeler, president and CEO of VIP Tires & Service in Auburn.

“Automakers are increasingly using technology to try to shut out local independent car repair shops and automotive technicians from repairing the newest models of cars and trucks,” he said.

The proposal now goes to the Legislature. Lawmakers have the option of considering the bill, but they usually send such proposals to voters to decide.

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