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Massachusetts AG, alliance at odds over next steps in court case on revised to repair’ law

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation are in odds on the next steps within an ongoing lawsuit concerning updates to the state’s “to repair” law.

Automakers represented by the alliance filed the lawsuit against Healey in November 2020 after voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure revising and expanding the state’s existing law.

The revised law known as the info Access Law in the lawsuit requires makers of vehicles sold in Massachusetts to employ a standardized, open-access data platform for telematics-equipped vehicles you start with the 2022 model year. In addition, it gives vehicle owners and independent repair shops usage of real-time information from the telematics, such as for example crash notifications, remote diagnostics and navigation.

U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock this month asked Healey and the alliance for further submissions on two outstanding issues in the event their interpretation of the updated law’s language and any steps taken by automakers to implement the law’s requirements.

In court papers filed Friday, Healey said the parties “haven’t decided on a joint proposal” regarding those issues and in addition disagree on the scheduling order for future deadlines.

Based on the filing, Healey specifically wants two of the alliance’s members FCA U.S., now Stellantis, and General Motors to “identify steps taken, funds spent and personnel involved with researching and developing ways of compliance” with certain parts of regulations.

In its filing, the alliance argues the attorney general’s interpretation of the revised law’s terms and provisions “largely reiterates the attorney general’s litigation positions at trial, avoids interpreting certain provisions of the info Access Law entirely, and in lots of places does not provide any meaningful, practical interpretation.”

Since January, the judge has postponed a choice on the nearly two-year-old court case multiple times.

Two automakers Subaru and Kia have disabled the telematics systems in 2022 model year and newer vehicles registered in Massachusetts in order to avoid compliance hiccups amid the ongoing legal battle.

The alliance maintains its argument that the state’s amended law conflicts with several federal laws, poses cybersecurity and vehicle safety risks, and sets an impossible timeline for compliance.

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