Following certification by the Massachusetts Attorney General of its proposed ballot question, the Right to Repair Coalition will immediately begin collecting signatures to place the issue before state voters.

Supporters have until November 23 to get the 68,911 signatures required to secure placement of the question on the 2012 ballot.

The proposed Right to Repair law would require automobile manufacturers to provide directly to the consumer the diagnostic and safety information needed to repair their cars. Currently, auto manufacturers provide only some of the diagnostic and safety information needed to repair vehicle owner's cars with independent technicians, limiting consumer choice and making business difficult for neighborhood repair shops. The issue is also a problem in the heavy-duty industry as well as automotive.

"If the car manufacturers can continue to manipulate the market by withholding information, then do I really own the car?" said Jeff McLeod of Marshfield and one of the original signers of the initiative petition approved by the Attorney General." Ultimately, if this law doesn't pass it's going to cost me more money as a consumer, so I can't wait to vote for this ballot question next year."

Consumers across the state visiting local mechanics or neighborhood parts stores have filled out letters of support and sent them to their state legislators. More than 50,000 letters have now been submitted and the coalition's Facebook page has received more than 8,000 "likes."

The Right to Repair Coalition includes consumer advocates like AAA and more than 2,000 independent repair shops, small businesses and retailers in communities across Massachusetts.