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Kia Disables Wireless Telematics in Massachusetts Vehicles

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Jan. 24, 2022—Kia on Thursday announced it has turned off wireless telematics systems in new vehicles sold in Massachusetts.

The automaker, which revealed its policy in documents sent to Boston federal court,  says the decision was made to comply with the state's voter-approved right-to-repair law.

“The new law requires that 2022 and newer vehicles that utilize a telematics system be equipped with an inter-operable, standardized and open access platform, but such a platform does not currently exist in the market, thus making compliance impossible,” Kia said in a statement per the Boston Globe.

Massachusetts voters in 2020 approved the right-to-repair law, which requires all automakers in the state to make data captured from telematic devices and other sources available to consumers and independent repairers.

An October 2021 press release from the company warned that its Kia Connect wireless data feature “may currently be unavailable for Model Year 2022 and newer vehicles sold or purchased in Massachusetts,” suggesting the company has been planning the move for a while.

Automakers have filed a lawsuit attempting to delay implementation of the law to 2025, saying that they need more time to develop and deploy technology necessary for compliance.

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