The United States’ first right-to-repair law for electronics passes in New York

New York is now the first state in the US to pass a right-to-repair law specifically for electronics. This week, the legislation passed the NY State Senate overwhelmingly in favor 59 to 4 and passed the Assembly 145 to 1. “The bill is the most expansive consumer rights legislation to pass in the United States in recent memory”, as per Vice.

The new law called the Digital Fair Repair Act applies to all consumer electronics’ companies and will require these companies to sell repair parts, tools, and provide repair documentation under “fair and reasonable terms”.

Some companies like Apple have already started providing replacement parts and tools directly to consumers who wish to perform their own repairs. This, however, has proven to be more of a band-aid fix and not a true representation of what it means for consumers to have the right-to-repair such as being able to perform your own repairs or at your chosen repair shop without voiding a warranty.

The legislation was modeled after a similar law that applied to Massachusetts in 2012. Once enacted, manufacturers signed a “memorandum of understanding” which basically meant the legislation resulted in nationwide policy changes as manufacturers would rather have a single uniform policy across the US. If parts and guides will become available in New York, they will inevitably make their way outside of New York.


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