“Just let us fix our stuff” — Coalition Makes Case on Right to Repair

Media Contacts
Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

Sacramento — Advocates for Right to Repair, a campaign to remove barriers manufacturers create and use to block repair, held a demonstration and lobby day in Sacramento today. The coalition, which includes CALPIRG, Consumer Reports, Californians Against Waste, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Ifixit.com, brought technicians to demonstrate the kind of repairs that are made difficult by lack of access to parts and service information. The group called for support of AB 1163, which would make sure that consumers and independent repair technicians would get what they need to maintain our modern electronics. 

“This is one of those common-sense issues: Just let us fix our stuff. Californians dispose of some 46,900 cell phones every day. We could save money and reduce waste if we fixed and reused our devices, but manufacturers stand in the way of repair,” said CALPIRG Executive Director Emily Rusch. “The idea that our electronics should be disposable is absurd. We need to empower repair.” 

This year California Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (Stockton) is authoring AB 1163, which closes a loophole in the state’s warranty law and requires companies to allow consumers access to functional parts and service information.

“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.”

“In today’s world, electronic devices are an essential part of our lives, but they can be expensive and almost impossible to easily repair. When a device stops working, you should be able to get it fixed by a servicer you choose, or fix it yourself. You shouldn’t be forced to hand it over to the manufacturer and pay whatever it demands, or just throw it away and replace it. We commend Assemblymember Eggman for her leadership in ensuring consumers’ right to repair, and look forward to working with her to improve consumer choice in the marketplace,” said Maureen Mahoney, policy analyst, Consumer Reports.

Right to Repair has been increasing in the national eye as Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced support last week, and the New York Times editorialized in favor of the policy on Sunday. The California Right to Repair bill is currently before the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee. 

staff | TPIN

This Earth Day, put our planet over plastic

We are working to move our country beyond plastic — and we need your help. Will you make a gift in honor of Earth Day to help us keep making progress?