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Electronics right-to-repair bill passes California Senate

Old washing machines stacked for recycling.

Having made it past the Senate, SB 244 has now gone further into the legislative process than any other right-to-repair bill in California. | V.stock/Shutterstock

A right-to-repair bill covering electronics and appliances moved forward in California, heading from the Senate to the Assembly after some amendments. 

SB 244 would require manufacturers to make tools and parts available to repair facilities and owners of certain products on fair and reasonable terms. 

It also allows a city, county or the state to bring a civil action in superior court against a person or OEM that knowingly violates the law. Damages sought in such suits would be $1,000 per day for the first violation, $2,000 per day for the second violation and $5,000 per day for the third and any subsequent violations.

The bill passed the Senate 38-0 on May 30 with some amendments. It’s now in the Assembly.

The National Stewardship Action Council noted that with its recent passage, SB 244 has made it further in the state’s political process than any other right-to-repair legislation in the past.

The bill would cover televisions, radios, audio or video recorders or playback equipment, video cameras, computers, photocopiers, refrigerators, freezers, ranges, microwave ovens, washers, dryers, dishwashers, trash compactors and air-conditioners. It would exclude video game consoles.

Amendments to the text include expanding the bill’s scope to include appliances, removing a requirement that OEMs provide lock or security bypasses, and requiring repair shops to disclose whether they used any used replacement parts provided by a supplier other than the OEM. 

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