Right-to-Repair Not Gaining Much Ground
It’s been an uphill battle but the right-to-repair movement isn’t giving up and is getting closer to winning over lawmakers, says a leading American advocate.
Right-to-repair legislation has been introduced in 42 states and two provinces — but none of the bills have made it into law, Gay Gordon-Byrne, head of The Repair Association, conceded during a recent webinar hosted by the Canada West Foundation.
But she told another panelist — Eric Wareham of the North American Equipment Dealers Association — that the fight is far from over.
“The dealers have frankly done a magnificent job of lobbying against right to repair and I say, ‘Eric, of all the bills that haven’t passed, congratulations — you did a great job,” said Gordon-Byrne.
Manufacturers and dealership groups, meanwhile, argue that many just want to bypass emissions controls and boost horsepower, something they term the ‘right to modify.’
Farmers already have the ability to repair 98 per cent of a piece of agricultural equipment, Wareham argued.
“The two per cent we do not allow access to is our critical safety and emissions criteria functions,” he said. “We fully support the right to repair but not to modify.”
Producer downtime is a problem, Wareham acknowledged, but said there are two causes — a shortage of technicians and a lack of broadband.