Automakers Turn Mechanics Into Criminals

Today's cars run on software, and manufacturers own the copyrights.

Grease monkeys, unite!

Photographer: DAVID EBENER/AFP/Getty Images

For as long as Americans have owned cars, they’ve exercised their right to soup them up. Want a bright red flame job on the doors? Buy the decals and stick them on. Covet a low-rider suspension that bounces your Cadillac DeVille up and down like Dr. Dre’s? Order a kit and spend the weekend installing it in your garage. Your creativity has always seemed limited only by your imagination and some basic tenets of road safety.

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