Rhetoric surrounding controversial legislation to grant auto shops access to diagnostic information currently proprietary to dealers heated up Thursday.
Opponents of the Right to Repair Act were accused of linking the issue to the debate over illegal immigration. State Rep. Garrett Bradley said his office received an anonymous phone call charging the bill — which manufacturers say violates intellectual property rights and functions as a giveaway to parts makers — would give jobs to undocumented aliens.
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“They know we’re close to getting over the goal line and they’re playing gutter politics,” said Bradley, the bill’s lead sponsor. “It’s a cheap shot to link it to immigration because it’s the hot item of the day.”
Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which opposes the legislation, said he doesn't know who placed the call.
“We would never attempt to tie this issue to illegal immigration,” Territo said. “We have no need to do so because the arguments against this bill are so compelling. The passage of legislation could lead to a loss of American jobs as knockoff parts are made overseas.”
Seth Adler, the owner of Muffler Mart in Roxbury, disagreed. “All these shops will be closing up if they don’t have the info to repair cars,” he said.