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Right to Repair bills introduced in five states (Update: correction)

The legislation means manufacturers could be forced to sell spare parts and repair documents to companies and consumers in those states.

Published onJanuary 24, 2017

Right to Repair bills have been introduced in five US states meaning manufacturers would be required to sell replacement parts to independent repair companies and consumers in those locations, in addition to making their service manuals public.

Manufacturers are usually keen to keep repairs in-house so that they can deal directly with consumers and receive all of the repair profits. If individuals or other businesses wish to carry out electronics repairs themselves, as many do, they often must source the parts from recycled devices or from grey markets.

“Limited authorized channels result in inflated, high repair prices and high overturn of electronic items,” wrote the legislators who introduced the New York bill. “Another concern is the large amount of electronic waste created by the inability to affordably repair broken electronics.”

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The legislation has been introduced in Kansas, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and New York, where it is being considered for the third year in a row.

If you reside in those states, and the bills are passed, you could gain access to potentially less costly repair services, as well as the diagnostic manuals to help you carry out repairs by yourself.

Correction: The bills have been introduced but are yet to be passed. We’ve updated the article to reflect this.

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