Maine Certifies Right to Repair Ballot Initiative

Feb. 22, 2023

Maine’s Secretary of State certified that Maine's Right To Repair coalition has gained enough signatures to put their proposed initiative on the ballot this November.

Feb. 22, 2023–Maine’s Secretary of State has certified the signatures of Maine’s Right To Repair coalition to put an initiative on the ballot this November, according to a press release.

The initiative aims to provide independent repair shops with access to repair and diagnostic information instead of it only being shared with dealerships, allowing them to understand what to do to service newer vehicles. 

Tim Winkeler is president and CEO of VIP Tires & Service, a shop in Auburn, Maine. He signed his name to the initiative because he’s had customers who have come to his store for decades that he doesn’t want to have to see forced somewhere else.

“Automakers are increasingly using technology to try to shut out local independent car repair shops and automotive technicians from repairing the newest models of cars and trucks,” Winkeler stated.

Though a national agreement passed in 2013 made it so that automakers must “provide access to repair and diagnostic codes and information,” the agreement does not cover “the rapidly expanding wireless technologies now installed in virtually all new vehicles.”

Massachusetts, too, has passed a ballot initiative similar to this; currently, it is on hold due to challenges from auto manufacturers, who spent “more than $25 million” in an effort to stop the initiative from gaining enough support.

About the Author

Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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