Right-To-Repair Is Catching On And Automakers Are Pissed

A photo of three cars waiting for repairs in a shop.
A photo of three cars waiting for repairs in a shop.

Good morning! It’s Thursday, November 9, 2023, and this is The Morning Shift, your daily roundup of the top automotive headlines from around the world, in one place. Here are the important stories you need to know.

1st Gear: Another State Votes In Favor Of Right-To-Repair

America took to the polls for some pretty important votes this week. I’m not talking about the mayoral race in Philadelphia, I’m instead talking about Maine’s proposal to back right-to-repair measures across the state. In a vote on the matter on Tuesday, Maine citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, which would standardize several key components across America’s automakers.


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Maine isn’t the first state to pass such a law, however, and it follows similar moves from Massachusetts. In the Bay State, lawmakers took steps to standardize telematics across vehicles from 2022.

2nd Gear: Used Car Prices Dropped In October

There’s been a nugget of good news for anyone looking to get their hands on a second-hand car, as it turns out that used car prices are gradually starting to fall. In October, the used car market saw wholesale prices dip but around two percent.

Auction prices for wholesale used cars dropped 2.3 percent in October, reports Kelley Blue Book. The wholesale price drop could be passed onto buyers in “six to eight weeks,” meaning that there could be savings to be had just in time for Christmas. KBB reports:

The probable end of the auto workers’ strike (“probable” because United Auto Workers union members are back at work but haven’t yet formally voted to accept the contract offers that brought them back) gets some of the credit, says Chris Frey, senior manager of Economic and Industry Insights for Cox Automotive. Had the strike dragged into November, it could have pushed up new car prices. That usually sends shoppers into the used car market with new-car money, driving prices up there as well.

Wholesale price drops usually become retail price drops after six to eight weeks. But that may not happen this time, Frey cautions. “Wholesale vehicle values typically experience some modest increases during the holiday season, and with two months remaining, we could see some upward price movements.”

While the average car price fell 2.3 percent in October, there was a wild variety of drops across different segments. Compact car prices dropped the most, registering more than 10 percent in price decreases through the month, while pickup trucks had the lowest dip in prices at just 0.5 percent.

3rd Gear: The U.S. Government Must Buy American

While you’re looking at buying used, the U.S. government has decided that it must only buy American after the senate voted against some of president Joe Biden’s exceptions to certain “Buy America” requirements.

In Biden’s pledge to increase electric vehicle usage across America, the government has set aside $7.5 billion to fund electric vehicle charging stations, according to Reuters. However, when the funding was announced there were exceptions to the “Buy American” rule that meant some chargers could be sourced from outside this great nation to speed up adoption. However, the senate has now vetoed these exceptions, as Reuters explains:

The U.S. Senate voted 50-48 to overturn President Joe Biden’s decision to waive some “Buy America” requirements for government-funded electric vehicle charging stations but the White House said he would veto the measure.

The White House argued the Republican bill would eliminate entirely the domestic manufacturing requirement for government-funded electric vehicle (EV) chargers “thereby harming domestic manufacturing and American jobs.”

Under the current rules, 55 percent of construction materials used in EV chargers must be obtained from domestic sources and U.S. manufacturers. However, when the rules were announced some manufacturers warned that it could slow the rollout of new EV chargers as U.S manufacturers weren’t ready.

As such, a delay was implemented giving companies until July 2024 to meet the targets.

4th Gear: Nissan Is Broken

After Toyota was struck by a system outage last month that affected production, Nissan is the latest automaker to fall foul to faulty computers. The company has a system-wide outage across the U.S., which is hitting everything from company email systems to credit applications.

The Nissan IT outage was first uncovered earlier this week and “pretty much affects all things Nissan,” according to Automotive News. The outage has hit Nissan centers in the U.S. and Canada, impacting dealers attempting to order parts, warranty claims and recall alerts. As Automotive News explains:

Nissan spokesperson Brian Brockman declined to comment on the reason for the interruption or say whether it was related to a cyberattack.

“Due to a network outage, some operations in the Americas have been interrupted,” Brockman said. “We are working as quickly as possible to address the issue.”

In a memo to retailers, Nissan said the outage affects the company’s internal email, applications, and aftersales technical call centers.

There’s no word yet on when the system may be back online. Until then, Automotive News said that Nissan is still able to order essential parts manually, which should help solve any “critical situations and parts shortages.”

Reverse: East Meets West

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