Advocates calling to remove barriers faced by consumers and independent shops who attempt to repair electronics celebrated a new Right to Repair bill, introduced Tuesday, March 15, in the U.S. Senate by Senators Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.). The bipartisan measure, like bills pending in state houses around the country, would require manufacturers to provide access to the parts, tools, and information needed to fix products.
This is the first broad Right to Repair bill introduced in the U.S. Senate. It joins a bill targeting farm equipment filed by Sen. Jon Tester of Montana earlier this year, and a 2020 bill targeting medical equipment filed by Sen. Wyden.
In response to this development, U.S. PIRG’s senior Right to Repair campaign director Nathan Proctor issued the following statement: “It’s common sense: When something breaks you fix it. But when only manufacturers or their authorized shop can fix your device, they can charge as much as they want and coerce you into buying an upgrade. It’s time to remove manufacturer-imposed barriers to repair and get back to fixing things like we’ve always done.”
“We are proud to support this bipartisan, pro-environment, pro-consumer and pro-small business bill,” Proctor adds. “We are grateful to have champions such as Senators Lujan, Wyden, and Lummis and commend them on their leadership in introducing this legislation.”
Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, also spoke out about the legislation, commenting: “We should all be able to fix what we own, and The Fair Repair Act takes a huge step toward a more repairable future. It’s good for small independent repair businesses, great for the planet, and even better for people who need their smartphone screens fixed.”
What’s more, Wiens says, “The iFixit community has been demanding this solution for decades: Manufacturers should make parts, tools, and repair information available to everyone who needs to fix their gadgets.”