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Rhode Island introduces electronics right-to-repair bill

S3107 would ban parts pairing and currently has no device exemptions carved out. | Rabanser/Shutterstock

Lawmakers in Rhode Island are considering a broad electronics right-to-repair bill that would ban parts pairing and currently does not include any exemptions. 

Introduced on May 29, S3107 would cover digital electronic equipment sold in the state on or after Jan. 1, 2025. Under the bill, OEMs would be required to provide independent repair shops or device owners documentation, parts and tools required for diagnosis, maintenance and repair “inclusive of any updates.” 

Digital electronic equipment is defined in the bill as “any product that depends for its functioning, in whole or in part, on digital electronics embedded in or attached to the product.” 

OEMs would also be required to provide any special documentation, tools and parts needed to access and reset the lock function as long as the repair shop has the “express permission of the owner.” 

“Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require a manufacturer to make available special documentation, tools and parts that would disable or override anti-theft security measures set by the owner of the product without the owner’s authorization,” the draft bill added. 

If passed, the bill would also ban parts pairing or other similar mechanisms that OEMs use to ensure that only original parts are used in repairs. In addition, OEMs would not be allowed to “create false, misleading, deceptive or non-dismissible alerts or warnings about parts, charge additional fees or increased prices for future repairs or limit who can purchase parts or perform repair services.”

The bill includes language that removes liability from OEMs for damage or injury to equipment caused by an independent repair provider or device owner that occurs during repair.

The legislation comes in an active year for right-to-repair laws. Similar laws passed in Oregon and Colorado this year. 

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