BOSTON (June 2, 2011)—The Massachusetts Police Association and Boston Police Superior Officers Federation have come out in opposition to the state “Right to Repair” bill H. 102/S. 104, introduced the week of Feb. 14 by Sen. John Hart, D-South Boston.
Passage of the bill, according to the Massachusetts Auto Coalition, could make key codes and other security information more widely available, compromising vehicle security. The MPA and the BPSOF join the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Highway Loss Data Institute in opposing the bill.
“If not adequately controlled, easy access to security-related items such as vehicle immobilizer codes and other security information only supports crime,” the MPA wrote in its letter of opposition. “Crimes related to the theft of individual autos and revenues derived from the sale of parts from these autos are usually used to financially support other criminal activity such as gambling, prostitution and illegal drug sales.”
According to the MAC, ongoing research by the Highway Loss Data Institute concluded that decreasing auto theft in the U.S. can be attributed to the growing use of factory-installed, passive-immobilizing anti-theft devices. If passed, Right to Repair legislation could make valuable software and immobilizer information underlying those systems more readily available, the coalition charged.
The Secure Data Release Model was developed several years ago by auto makers, the independent repair community, insurance industry and law enforcement to allow professional automotive repairers secure access to information such as key codes, PIN numbers and immobilizer reset information.
“A safe harbor for this type of information already exists through the Automotive Service Association (ASA) Auto Maker Agreement,” the BPSOF wrote in its letter of opposition. “Through this agreement and corresponding Web-based service, independent repairers have access to service, tool and training information.
“The aftermarket parts companies have pursued passage of the bill in a dozen states and at the congressional level over the past decade and have never had success.”