Right to Repair

Recently the OPEAA board of directors has been made aware of an issue moving through several state legislatures known as “Right to Repair” (R2R). As consumer products are increasingly digitally (computer) controlled it is becoming more common for products to contain digital diagnostic and repair functions and features serviceable only by an OEM-authorized repair entity. Through R2R legislation, consumer advocacy groups are seeking to compel OEMs to open up access to otherwise restricted diagnostic and repair features and make them commercially available to independent repair entities. 

As an organization representing the OPE aftermarket, OPEAA’s mission of protecting and promoting the aftermarket repair industry seems to align in support of the R2R issue. However as an organization with both OEM and non-OEM members we’ve found that our interests are divided on this issue. 

Given our diversity, it is the board’s determination that OPEAA shall adopt a neutral stance with respect to R2R advocacy while providing our members with opportunities to facilitate their own decision-making regarding what form of R2R advocacy best suits their particular business interests. Therefore, the board is pleased to present this information for your consideration.

Proponents of R2R legislation principally argue the following:

  • R2R will provide consumers with greater access to (independent) repairs.
  • R2R will drive price competition in the repair industry that will benefit consumers.
  • R2R will reduce waste generation by extending equipment life through increased repair activity.

Additional information in support of the R2R issue may be found at www.repair.org.

Opponents of R2R legislation principally argue the following:

  • R2R legislation is overly broad, without proper consideration for the diversity of “equipment” and the extent to which OEMs already provide appropriate repair/diagnostic information.
  • R2R will permit unqualified repair entities and consumers to make unauthorized/illegal modifications to equipment, potentially impairing/disabling safety and/or emission controls.
  • R2R will improperly require the release of OEM proprietary information and technologies.

Additional information in opposition to the R2R, particularly from the OEM perspective, may be obtained from Dan Mustico, Vice President of Government and Market Affairs at the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, at dmustico@opei.org.