Maine’s Right-to-Repair Now Law, But Faces Long Road Ahead

Jan. 24, 2024
Auto shop owners in Maine likely won’t begin to see a difference until 2025.

Though Maine’s right-to-repair law has gone into effect as of this year, it may still be a while before they see any fundamental changes, Portland Press Herald reports.

Some groundwork will need to be laid before the law can fully take effect–namely, with the creation of a database for the advanced diagnostic repair data being received from manufacturers, and an independent oversight board to supervise the process.

Currently, the only immediate change is a fine of at least $10,000 that will be dolled out to automakers for every failure they make to share their repair data. Auto shop owners in Maine likely won’t begin to see a difference until 2025, when the Office of the Maine Attorney General estimates to have an oversight board in place.

The Attorney General’s staff has been meeting with many different figures within the automotive industry to discuss the law’s implementation. Tommy Hickey, director of the Maine Right to Repair Coalition, has been one such figure, and said that it’s necessary to collaborate with cyber-security experts to lay out the best practices for storing and distributing the data.

As Maine lays out a strategy for enforcing the new law, some wonder when they’ll even begin to see changes.

“I don’t think it’s going to change your life, though it might change some stuff,” said Ryan Lund, shop manager at Bernie’s Auto Repair in Westbrook. “But so far, I haven’t seen or heard of any change.”