28 state AGs call on Congress to take action on stalled 'right-to-repair' bills

28 state AGs call on Congress to take action on stalled 'right-to-repair' bills

The right-to-repair movement has been arguing that major companies have monopolized repair services, putting consumers at a disadvantage. Supporters of the movement have been pushing various bills designed to challenge repair monopolies, and lobbyists for companies ranging from Apple to Microsoft to automakers have been lobbying against the bills.

But according to TechDirt, a "bipartisan coalition of 28 state attorneys general" has sent a letter to members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee urging them to take "action on stalled right-to-repair bills."

The bills are the SMART Act, the Fair Repair Act and the REPAIR Act. The SMART Act, according to TechDirt’s Karl Bode, "would allow repair shops to use alternative or off-brand parts to repair vehicles" — while the Fair Repair Act "would require manufacturers to make certain tools and documents available to independent repair providers and owners." And the REPAIR Act, Bode notes, "would prevent manufacturers from mandating specific brands of parts and equipment be used on a vehicle."

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According to Bode, "Lobbyists have increasingly fired up their attacks on such proposals, usually by falsely claiming that cracking down on these companies' attempted repair monopolies would create all manner of privacy and security risks for U.S. consumers…. As usual, a coalition of companies keen on monopolizing repair — John Deere, Apple, Verizon, Microsoft, U.S. automakers, U.S. medical equipment makers — have worked tirelessly to ensure any federal legislative solution remains sidelined, despite widespread, bipartisan support for such measures. Polls consistently show public support for reform ranging anywhere from 75 to 95 percent."

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Read TechDirt’s full article at this link.

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