Legislation would allow users & retailers to access repair information
(ALBANY, NY) – Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Senator Neil Breslin joined advocates Tuesday to renew their push for “Right to Repair” legislation in New York State. The legislators have reintroduced their bill (A7416/S6309) that would require diagnostic and repair information for electronic parts and equipment to be available to independent repair providers and consumers.
“We all rely on our electronic devices every day, but when they’re broken we often have to rely on the companies that made them,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo. “Many repair shops, and consumers, do not lack the skill to repair electronics, they lack the information. Manufacturers often keep diagnostic and repair information private so users are forced to pay them to fix them. This bill would make this information available, saving consumers money and also cutting down on electronic waste.”
“In many instances, repairs of digital items are intentionally limited by the manufacturer,” Senator Breslin said. “Manufacturers require consumers to access repair services exclusively through their limited authorized channels that result in inflated, high repair prices, poor service or non-existent service in rural areas and unnecessarily high rates of electronic waste.”
The “Digital Fair Repair Act” would require original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to provide the same documents, parts, and tools available to them to independent retailers and consumers for diagnosis, maintenance, or repair of certain electronic devices. OEMs would not be required to share trade secrets, and the law would not cover motor vehicles or medical equipment.
In addition to helping lower costs to consumers, the Lupardo/Breslin bill would limit the amount of electronic waste. Many consumers have found that the price of fixing their devices is, in many instances, almost as much as buying new; as a result, they decide to “upgrade” and discard their old equipment.
“With 4.3 million unique visitors from New York using iFixit, it’s clear that New Yorkers just want to fix their stuff. New Yorkers know that repair cuts waste and saves them money,” said Russ Haven, NYPIRG General Counsel. “But too many of the things we are trying to fix have unnecessary barriers because most of the top manufacturers won’t provide access to spare parts, repair software or service diagrams.”
The bill is currently in the Consumer Protection Committee in each house of the Legislature.