California reintroduces 'Right to Repair' bill after previous effort failed

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 18
After a failed attempt in 2018, California lawmakers will again hear arguments for the institution of so-called "right to repair" legislation that would compel electronics makers to provide repair manuals, tools, parts and other related material to consumers and independent repair outlets.

iCracked


California State Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman on Monday announced the introduction of Assembly Bill 1163, which will require manufacturers like Apple to "make service literature and equipment or parts available to product owners and to regulated, independent repair shops."

"For nearly 30 years California has required that manufacturers provide access to replacement parts and service materials for electronics and appliances to authorized repairers in the state. In that time, manufacturers have captured the market, controlling where and when we repair our property, and inflating the electronic waste stream," Eggman said. "The Right to Repair will provide consumers with the freedom to have their electronic products and appliances fixed by a repair shop or service provider of their choice, creating a competitive market that will be cheaper for consumers and reduce the number of devices thrown in the trash."

The bill, officially filed as legislation relating to electronic waste, is Eggman's second try at right to repair legislation. Her first attempt, 2018's Bill 2110, was introduced last March and subsequently died in assembly that November. Like the pending Bill 1163, last year's tendered legislation was crafted as a play to reduce e-waste.

Eggman's announcement includes a word-for-word reproduction of an explainer included in 2018's press release for the now-dead Bill 2110. In it the lawmaker argues that customers who are unable to pay for manufacturer repairs are forced to replace broken equipment like smartphones, TVs and home appliances.

Beyond financial benefits, Eggman also says that the repair and reuse of electronics is more efficient than purchasing a new device, noting that such measures can "stimulate local economies instead of unsustainable overseas factories."

Repair firm iFixit, a steadfast right to repair proponent, publicized Eggman's announcement in a press release sent out to media on Monday.

Apple with its strict in-house and authorized third party repair policies is a primary target of right to repair bills. The company is openly opposed to such legislation, saying access to repair material would expose industry secrets and create security and safety issues for customers. The right to repair movement has so far failed to gain traction in state governments, in part due to lobbyists contracted by Apple and other manufacturers.

Right to repair advocates, however, claim companies that oppose legislation like Bill 1163 do so merely for financial gain. The repair business is a lucrative one, and opening it up to independent firms would lower customer costs by introducing competition, some argue.

The right to repair movement got a shot in the arm earlier this year when Allstate purchased repair firm iCracked.

With its second attempt at right to repair, California joins a cadre of 19 other states with similar legislation on the table.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,484member
    Get ready for shitty third party parts installed by shitty, untrained techs in shopping mall kiosks. Instead of ordering a part from Apple many users will opt for questionable but cheaper third party parts. Do it yourselfers will blow up their devices and then expect Apple to make it good... at no charge. Instead of ordering that brake caliper directly from Ford you’ll order one for half the price and of dubious quality from Amazon. Then when you kill yourself in an accident your family will sue Ford. You get what you pay for. There is NO Apple tax for quality. What’s next? Court ordered modifications such as user replaceable batteries, headphone jacks. Regulated design thickness to accommodate repairability. Imagine what an iPhone designed by iFixit will look like.

    "The company is openly opposed to such legislation, saying access to repair material would expose industry secrets and create security and safety issues for customers.”

    There goes privacy and security when that part you bought is later found to be reporting your every move and word to god knows who or where. Oh, you say, legit repair shops will only install Apple OEM parts in your $1K phone. Think again.

    edited March 18 2old4funbaconstangchaickabshankmacseekermacxpressDAalsethberndogericthehalfbeeelijahg
  • Reply 2 of 18
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,758member
    I believe the "Right to Repair" law was originally spawned by famers that wanted to work on their tech-ridden John Deere tractors and I can totally understand that.  I think the intent is sincere for those wanting to repair their equipment.

    However, when it comes to electronics like iPhones, I can easily see Apple being overwhelmed with repairs and/or accusations of faulty phones when consumers take their iPhones to sketchy 3rd party repair shops (or even self-repaired), destroy their phone, and then try slip it past Apple repair and pretending nothing was ever done to it.  I can also see people abusing this by hoarding parts and shipping them to the black market.
    elijahg
  • Reply 3 of 18
    chaickachaicka Posts: 168member
    We have plentiful of these unauthorised 3rd party repairers who have their means to obtain parts as well as manuals to repair. Yet like Lkrupp shared, it’s shitty and often results in poor workmanship that introduces either non-related problems or damages to chassis. The real problem is these repairers do not use or follow end to end exact steps and/or materials such as type of glue, amount of glue, etc.

    I have always opted to repair at Apple’s authorised agent or now Apple’s own store due to earlier horrible experience with 3rd parties. Guess the legislation folks don’t understand the full implications of it!!!
    lalesjbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,403member
    I'm all for the right to repair but that already exists. I routinely do my own repairs, upgrade, use iFixit's disassembly instructions, their tools, and have purchased parts from them for older devices. I'm not in favor of what this bill would do for driving up costs for the average CE buyer to support a niche community that already has plenty of options.
    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingamStrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 18
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,159member
    lkrupp said:
    Get ready for shitty third party parts installed by shitty, untrained techs in shopping mall kiosks. Instead of ordering a part from Apple many users will opt for questionable but cheaper third party parts. Do it yourselfers will blow up their devices and then expect Apple to make it good... at no charge. Instead of ordering that brake caliper directly from Ford you’ll order one for half the price and of dubious quality from Amazon. Then when you kill yourself in an accident your family will sue Ford. You get what you pay for. There is NO Apple tax for quality. What’s next? Court ordered modifications such as user replaceable batteries, headphone jacks. Regulated design thickness to accommodate repairability. Imagine what an iPhone designed by iFixit will look like.

    "The company is openly opposed to such legislation, saying access to repair material would expose industry secrets and create security and safety issues for customers.”

    There goes privacy and security when that part you bought is later found to be reporting your every move and word to god knows who or where. Oh, you say, legit repair shops will only install Apple OEM parts in your $1K phone. Think again.

    Because that’s what will happen will all third party companies and none will have great customer service with great repair standards because they want to run a successful business. 
    DAalsethelijahgjbdragonairnerd
  • Reply 6 of 18
    I have questions. Would "right to repair" apply only to hardware or also to software/firmware? Would consumers/repair-shops be entitled to get access to the source code so they could fix a broken software feature? Would consumers/repair-shops be entitled to Apple's private keys so they can digitally sign the software/firmware modifications? If no, Apple can install software that makes unapproved hardware modifications brick the device. E.g., a battery can provide power only if it provides a signature using a private key known only to Apple. And why wouldn't this law apply to companies like Ford who put computers in their cars?
  • Reply 7 of 18
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,159member
    lkrupp said:
    Get ready for shitty third party parts installed by shitty, untrained techs in shopping mall kiosks. Instead of ordering a part from Apple many users will opt for questionable but cheaper third party parts. Do it yourselfers will blow up their devices and then expect Apple to make it good... at no charge. Instead of ordering that brake caliper directly from Ford you’ll order one for half the price and of dubious quality from Amazon. Then when you kill yourself in an accident your family will sue Ford. You get what you pay for. There is NO Apple tax for quality. What’s next? Court ordered modifications such as user replaceable batteries, headphone jacks. Regulated design thickness to accommodate repairability. Imagine what an iPhone designed by iFixit will look like.

    "The company is openly opposed to such legislation, saying access to repair material would expose industry secrets and create security and safety issues for customers.”

    There goes privacy and security when that part you bought is later found to be reporting your every move and word to god knows who or where. Oh, you say, legit repair shops will only install Apple OEM parts in your $1K phone. Think again.

    Also, get ready for people to over exaggerate how bad third party retailers are going to be and not how some will be great. 
    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtjbdragonairnerd
  • Reply 8 of 18
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 770member
    lkrupp said:
    Get ready for shitty third party parts installed by shitty, untrained techs in shopping mall kiosks. Instead of ordering a part from Apple many users will opt for questionable but cheaper third party parts. Do it yourselfers will blow up their devices and then expect Apple to make it good... at no charge. Instead of ordering that brake caliper directly from Ford you’ll order one for half the price and of dubious quality from Amazon. Then when you kill yourself in an accident your family will sue Ford. You get what you pay for. There is NO Apple tax for quality. What’s next? Court ordered modifications such as user replaceable batteries, headphone jacks. Regulated design thickness to accommodate repairability. Imagine what an iPhone designed by iFixit will look like.

    "The company is openly opposed to such legislation, saying access to repair material would expose industry secrets and create security and safety issues for customers.”

    There goes privacy and security when that part you bought is later found to be reporting your every move and word to god knows who or where. Oh, you say, legit repair shops will only install Apple OEM parts in your $1K phone. Think again.

    Because that’s what will happen will all third party companies and none will have great customer service with great repair standards because they want to run a successful business. 
    A few will be good. Many more will say the are using Apple parts and trained technicians but won't be. Yes they will screw things up and get a bad reputation, but fly by night operations come and go with regularity. That's the price of doing business for them.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    I simply want a choice, my choice good or bad. I would hope "right to repair" would give me that choice.
    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingamjbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 18
    sflocal said:
    I believe the "Right to Repair" law was originally spawned by famers that wanted to work on their tech-ridden John Deere tractors and I can totally understand that.  I think the intent is sincere for those wanting to repair their equipment.

    However, when it comes to electronics like iPhones, I can easily see Apple being overwhelmed with repairs and/or accusations of faulty phones when consumers take their iPhones to sketchy 3rd party repair shops (or even self-repaired), destroy their phone, and then try slip it past Apple repair and pretending nothing was ever done to it.  I can also see people abusing this by hoarding parts and shipping them to the black market.

    Right to Repair is most commonly associated with automotive repair. Today there are numerous aftermarket manufacturers that make all sorts of commonly replaced parts on vehicles along with countless independent repair shops. These shops can buy parts from dealers (OEM parts) if they wish or choose aftermarket.

    That said, not all parts are available from third parties. Especially certain electronic modules or components related to security. Can you imagine being able to buy an instrument cluster and enter your own mileage when you install it? Or allowing independent shops the ability to code their own remote keys?

    This is the angle Apple will use to limit right to repair. They can’t be expected to give independent shops access to equipment and parts related to security. I can see Apple providing batteries or screens (common repairs), but that’s it.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,114member
    This is just one of the decisions going into purchasing an Apple product.

    If Apple changes their repair policies, will Apple sell more idevices?  The answer is no.  Apple maintains high resale values because of the quality of repairs/referbs.  Apple is going to fight “right to repair” forever...
  • Reply 12 of 18
    riverkoriverko Posts: 77member
    In case the regulation gives the manufacturer right to deliver manuals, tools and parts only to those who get certificated to repair their products, i see it as quite reasonable. Even though certificate is not everything. I have experience with some independent repair shops when i needed to fix my iPhone 5 and they did very good job. But if it becomes required by law to give the access, there must be also some regulating conditions given to avoid possible demages
  • Reply 13 of 18
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 736member
    I'm less inclined to support policy initiatives or laws which are, by their supporters, misleadingly named or referred to.

    These initiatives aren't about consumers having the right to repair their electronics. They are about forcing others to facilitate consumers' ability to repair such electronics. People almost always have the right to repair their stuff. What they may sometimes not have is the ability to do so. Compelling particular others to facilitate their ability to do so is, I think, wrong. Those others may have good reasons to choose not to facilitate that ability.

    This is another case of governments ostensibly trying to address a supposed problem which, to the extent it really is a problem, the market is quite capable of dealing with. If it's an important enough issue, and people not being able to repair their electronics is a big enough problem, then the market can fix that problem. Apple, e.g., should get to decide whether it is going to make it easy for others to fix Apple products. People should decide, in light of Apple's decisions in that regard as well as based on other factors, whether they will buy Apple products. If repairability (by someone other than Apple) is an important enough consideration - a feature which is in sufficient demand - then the lack thereof will affect Apple's sales enough to cause it to change its policies. Other manufacturers who want to capitalize on that demand can run ads pointing out Apple's policies regarding repairability.

    We don't need, and shouldn't embrace, more regulation of such things. We should advocate for not only our only freedoms but those of others.  
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 18
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,949member
    "In it the lawmaker argues that customers who are unable to pay for manufacturer repairs are forced to replace broken equipment like smartphones, TVs and home appliances."

    What a load of BS. So, somebody who can't afford to make a repair for a given amount of money can suddenly spend even more money to replace the device?!
    Maybe, back in the day when phone costs were subsidized, but certainly not now.


  • Reply 15 of 18
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,823member

    Right to repair advocates, however, claim companies that oppose legislation like Bill 1163 do so merely for financial gain. The repair business is a lucrative one, and opening it up to independent firms would lower customer costs by introducing competition, some argue.
    Has anyone provided data to support this claim? I for one have a difficult time believing Apple is opposed to replacement TouchID and Secure Enclaves due to the money made from repairs. In fact I'd imagine their first-party repair revenue is a rounding error.
    edited March 19
  • Reply 16 of 18
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 770member
    riverko said:
    In case the regulation gives the manufacturer right to deliver manuals, tools and parts only to those who get certificated to repair their products, i see it as quite reasonable. Even though certificate is not everything. I have experience with some independent repair shops when i needed to fix my iPhone 5 and they did very good job. But if it becomes required by law to give the access, there must be also some regulating conditions given to avoid possible demages
    That's a very good point. As long as the law doesn't try to force manufacturers to sell parts and manuals to anyone who wants them, it might be okay. If Apple, (and LG, and Samsung, and Dell, and...) can set up an authorized repair station program and make SURE the repairs meet their standards then it would not impact quality.

    My big fear is if it mandates that all products be repairABLE. Frankly in order to do what they are designed to do, some products cannot be. I work for a manufacturing company. One of the things we make is a high pressure camera. In order to work, the whole camera is filled with Lucite. We assemble and test the camera and once it passes, put it in a mold and fill it to the brim with liquid Lucite. Once it is hard there is no way it could be repaired. If the law mandated that our products be repairABLE we just would not sell to California. 
  • Reply 17 of 18
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 675member
    Do some of you realize how many other industries are able to have 3rd party repairs done and the world hasn't ended?  I put myself through college doing small engine repairs.  Worked for a few different companies, each one was a different "authorized service center" for some brand.  When I was hired I was trained on Toro, Stil, Craftsmen, etc and people could use us for repairs or warranty work.  The parts we sold you were the same we would install ourselves.  It was also incredibly easy to identify OEM parts or repairs from those done at home.  Apple can tell the same, if the parts or work was done by them or someone else.  

    Scare mongering is a pretty low form of defending a company.  "if you don't buy Ford parts you will die".  Give me a break.  I have been repairing my own stuff for decades and never once have I bought a stealership product.  I can get better quality for cheaper by using a myriad of other places to purchase parts.  I haven't died yet, so quit the "whoa is you" garbage.  
  • Reply 18 of 18
    A "requirement to replace battery at a reasonable cost" bill for any manufacturer selling high cost items with non-user replaceable batteries would be great.
Sign In or Register to comment.