Automakers Hype Hacking Threat To Sink Pro-Repair Measure
It’s twilight. A man in a dark coat walks silently up the driveway of a suburban home as a female narrator’s voice is heard. “If Question 1 passes, anyone could access the most personal data stored in your vehicle.” She sounds worried. Scared.
She should be. As we watch, the man pulls a device from his pocket and the garage door opens. Your address “could be paired with the code to unlock your garage,” she tells us, giving sexual predators “easy access to your home.”
Whoa! Who knew that a “check engine” light could be the stuff of a CSI episode?
In another ad, this one aired by the Massachusetts Right To Repair Coalition, a mom speaks to the camera as she drives her kids around town. She worries about automakers cutting off access to all but their approved service shops – leading to more costly repairs. “It’s your car. It should be your choice where to fix it,” she says.
That, roughly speaking, is where the debate is headed in Massachusetts right now: rapists on the left, the corner mechanic on the right.
At issue is a November 3rd vote on ballot Question 1, a measure that would expand the state’s existing automobile right to repair* law to give car owners and repair shops access to wireless mechanical data that dealerships increasingly access from cloud-based systems run by the automakers themselves.