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Right-to-Repair: Where do you stand?

Consider this, you are pushing the project deadline, and your finishing machine breaks down; You call a service technician, but it will be days before they are available. This breakdown has now cost you time, money, and your reputation.

A person used to be able to work on their own equipment if they had enough knowledge and the right tools. Now, you can invest in training your service technicians and equipping them with all the latest diagnostic tools, but original manufacturer safeguards can lock-you-out of repairing your own equipment. It’s frustrating, to say the least, which is why leaders across several industries are joining together to push for legislative reform because you have the right to make your own repairs.

What is Right to Repair?

The ‘Right-to-Repair’ movement is being pushed in many industries including heavy equipment, automobile, cell phone, and other technology. These movements have gained tons of momentum over the last few years with 16 states on the list of implementing a ‘Right-to-Repair’ Act.

The ‘Right-to-Repair’ Act provides basic tools and knowledge for independent owners to make common repairs and give them the ability to diagnose more severe issues with a machine, that would otherwise call for a dealer’s assistance with the repair. Breaking this down, equipment manufacturers must offer the consumer all the needed materials to fix their purchased product.

Opposition Stance

Several big-name companies have pushed back against the ‘Right-to-Repair’ Act, including Apple. Apple has submitted several Letters of Opposition within recent years, opposing the bills introduced in Nebraska, Kansas, and other states. Looking at Apple, they gain $1-2 billion a year, only from iPhone repairs. Allowing for ‘Right-to-Repair’ Acts to be implemented would drastically drop this income for Apple while allowing for smaller repair shops also to fix the Apple iPhone.

Several equipment manufacturers, including Deere & Co, are also opposing the ‘Right-to-Repair’ Act. Deere has submitted a Letter of Opposition to every bill filed in every state. They believe that ‘Right-to-Repair’ bills would jeopardize the products purchased. Deere stated that allowing for individuals to repair their own machines could lead to unsafe operations, changes in emissions, disruption of performance, and will void the warranty.

Why is it important?

When you purchase anything from a phone all the way up to a million-dollar piece of equipment, you own it, and that means you should get to decide who makes repairs, not the OEM. Without the ‘Right-to-Repair’, you lose that control to choose who repairs your machinery.

All of that leads to a monopoly of sorts. OEMs determine who can make repairs, so they get to set the price for service and cut out aftermarket parts manufacturers and other buyers and sellers of equipment.

The ‘Right-to-Repair’ Act is targeted towards everyone, as it does not deal with just machinery. Speak out to your local legislation with your opinion regarding the issue.

The Independent Equipment Dealers Association (IEDA) supports your rights to make your own repairs, and plan to be an advocate on your behalf. Shortly, we will be sharing our plans to get the word about the need for local, state and national legislation.

For a list of IEDA members in your area, visit click here.

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