GM has told a federal judge that it is unable to comply with a recently updated right-to-repair law in Massachusetts as the law poses a safety and cybersecurity risk, sets an impossible timeline for compliance, and conflicts with a number of federal laws.
For those readers who may have missed it, Massachusetts voters voiced overwhelming approval in November of 2020 in support of a ballot measure updating the state’s so-called right to repair law. The law expands access to data related to vehicle maintenance and repair, and would require automakers give owners and independent repair shops access to real-time mechanical data and telematics.
Now, however, per a recent report from Automotive News, GM is pushing back on the amended law, arguing that it cannot safely implement the law’s requirements and stating that it has not taken steps towards compliance. In a brief filed last week, GM’s vice president of global security, Kevin Tierney, argued that the law’s requirement of a third-party entity to control the security for vehicle access creates an unacceptable cybersecurity risk by allowing a “single attack surface across all OEMs,” adding that the amended law does not actually expand Massachusetts voters’ right to repair.
GM rival Stellantis filed a separate brief last week which argues similar outcomes as those outlined by GM. Both GM and Stellantis are part of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which is currently engaged in an ongoing lawsuit with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
In the Stellantis brief, Stellantis head of global product cybersecurity for North American Engineering, Stephen McKnight, argued that the amended law was inconsistent with federal safety obligations, and that the law itself exhibited inconsistencies over the standardization of authorization systems and the creation of third-party management entities.
Meanwhile, Subaru and Kia have disabled telematics systems in 2022 and newer vehicles registered in Massachusetts as a means of avoiding potential issues with compliance as the legal battle continues.