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Deere Hit with Another 'Right to Repair' Lawsuit
USAgNet - 01/27/2022

The so-called "Right to Repair" movement, which is pushing legislation at all levels of government, is based on the false narrative that equipment end users are denied the ability to repair and maintain their own equipment. The truth is, unlike the consumer electronics sector and other industries targeted by right to repair proponents, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and authorized distributors of heavy equipment already make diagnostic tools, parts and repair manuals available to their customers. However, a false perception remains that farmers and other end users are prevented from making necessary repairs to their tractors.

Farm Equipment magazine reports that in President Biden's executive order from last summer "promoting competition in the American economy," he encouraged the Federal Trade Commission to address "unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items, such as the restrictions imposed by powerful manufacturers that prevent farmers from repairing their own equipment." Presidential candidates, U.S. senators and representatives, members of the Canadian Parliament and state lawmakers have all repeated similar claims.

With state legislatures reconvening and mandates being proposed in both Washington, D.C., and Ottawa, OEMs and equipment distributors must go on offense and be clear in pointing out that customers already can repair their own equipment. What they are prohibited from doing is modifying their equipment, particularly to circumvent important safety and environmental controls.

AED views government-mandated right to repair policies as a solution in search of a problem. Accordingly, the industry must be persistent in its efforts to educate customers about the misinformation surrounding right to repair and to highlight the information, tools and parts that are readily available to customers. If not, right to repair advocates will continue to shape the narrative and win the public relations battle.

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Sheah Auguers/SD Ellenbecker
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