Bryan Reimer Pens Articles in Forbes on MA Right to Repair Question

by Adam Felts

AgeLab Research Scientist Bryan Reimer writes in Forbes on some of the risks and unresolved issues associated with Massachusetts' Question 1, which would augment a "right to repair" law for consumer vehicles, specifically by requiring "manufacturers that sell motor vehicles equipped with telematics systems to install a standardized open data platform beginning with model year 2022."

Dr. Reimer notes some of the issues that may arise if Question 1 passes, given that new vehicles are outfitted increasingly with advanced software components:

While a narrow interpretation might consider repair and maintenance to only relate to physical components, a more realistic perspective also considers the maintenance and repair and updating of vehicle software. Therefore, one has to ask - should anyone beyond the vehicle manufacturer be responsible for the maintenance or repair of a vehicle’s software? Should consumers be free to authorize an independent repair facility to augment, update or otherwise change a vehicle’s software without safety and cybersecurity oversight embodied in manufacturer processes? If so, where do the bounds of liability to the original equipment manufacturer or independent repair shop fall? Given that new cars actually contain dozens of connected computers that need to seamlessly interact to meet safety and environmental standards - there is no easy answer.

Read Dr. Reimer's thoughts via Forbes here and here.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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