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NHTSA green lights Massachusetts vehicle data law

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has green lighted a Massachusetts law making car manufacturers share vehicle data

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has green lit a Massachusetts law making car manufacturers share vehicle data with third-party service centers after initially opposing the bill when it passed in 2020.

The right to repair law requires automakers to share vehicle data with independent repair shops, with the aim of giving technicians better access to crucial diagnostic data and expanding consumer repair options. However, last year the NHTSA warned OEMs not to comply with the bill over security concerns. The administration noted that long-range communications from automaker to service center could open the door for hackers, who could then remotely access and even control breached cars. Vehicle data transmission is also governed by the Federal Trade Commission, which works closely with the auto regulator to better guarantee consumer privacy and can force manufacturers to follow government policies.

However, the NHTSA on Tuesday announced that it had determined the law was compliant with federal guidelines after discussing the issue in more detail with Massachusetts officials. Since the bill gives car manufacturers the ability to share information using a “short-range wireless compliance approach,” companies can legally share vehicle data with independent service centers in the state without violating consumer protection policies. Although the administration stressed that OEMs will need a “reasonable” amount of time to implement the appropriate security measures, third-party technicians in the state should soon be able to effortlessly access manufacturer information. Massachusetts senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey noted the move would help drivers save money, while the attorney general’s office expressed thanks towards the NHTSA for determining “that our state law is not preempted by federal law.”

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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