A federal lawmaker has introduced legislation requiring electronics manufacturers to provide resources facilitating independent device repair. Repair advocates say it’s the first such bill to hit the national stage.
Rep. Joe Morelle, D-N.Y., on June 17 introduced H.R. 4006, a bill mandating “original equipment manufacturers of digital electronic equipment to make available certain documentation, diagnostic and repair information to independent repair providers.”
In a release announcing the bill, Morelle said many electronics manufacturers require that repairs be made by the device producer itself or by authorized vendors, which he said can make the process more expensive and difficult for consumers.
“This common-sense legislation will help make technology repairs more accessible and affordable for items from cell phones to laptops to farm equipment, finally giving individuals the autonomy they deserve,” Morelle said.
The federal legislation follows a flurry of state right-to-repair bills that were introduced this year. Most recently, a bill cleared one chamber of the New York legislature, the furthest a right-to-repair bill has made it in a state legislative process.
Morelle said the bill will help “consumers and repair shops to avoid unnecessary and costly delays while also reducing waste.”
The announcement included statements in support from The Repair Association, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, iFixit and more.
In its own write-up about the development, iFixit noted Morelle’s proposal is the “first broad federal right-to-repair bill.”
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