STATEMENT: Following pressure campaign, Deere announces new access to repair materials

Media Contacts
Kevin O'Reilly

Former Director, Campaign for the Right to Repair, PIRG

Taran Volckhausen

Former Communications Associate, The Public Interest Network


WASHINGTON —  Amid increasing pressure from lawmakers, regulators, shareholders and civil lawsuits, Deere & Co. announced on Monday that it would improve farmers’ access to repair resources needed to fix their equipment. Part of the larger “Right to Repair” debate, PIRG’s research partner U.S. PIRG Education Fund and other critics have exposed how Deere restricts access to resources that farmers need to conduct repairs, pushing farmers to rely solely on dealerships for certain repairs on their equipment. 

Specifically, Deere said it would “roll out an enhanced customer solution that includes a mobile device interface, and the ability to download secure software updates directly to embedded controllers on select John Deere equipment with 4G connections.” 

In 2018, Deere had promised to address Right to Repair concerns, starting in 2021, as part of a broader industry agreement. But last year, a PIRG investigation found that many dealerships would not sell the promised tool, Customer Service ADVISOR. PIRG’s investigation was confirmed by reporters at Vice News. In today’s announcement, Deere said it would start selling that tool online in May. Further, the company has pledged to make embedded code available, however only on “select” equipment, and only through wireless 4G connections. 

In response, Right to Repair Campaign Director Kevin O’Reilly made the following statement:

“Perhaps nothing runs like a Deere, but clearly we’ve got Deere on the run. While we welcome any steps that make farming equipment easier to repair, we’ve been down this road before. Farmers don’t have time to wait for another half-step, only to learn several years down the line that they are still not allowed to perform critical repairs on their equipment.
“We aren’t campaigning for a kinder, gentler monopoly on repair. All of us, especially our critical agricultural producers, deserve the right to repair our stuff in an open market. Farmers are fed up with delay tactics.

“Today’s announcement makes it clear that Deere is fully capable of providing farmers with what they need to repair their own equipment. For years, Deere and other farm equipment manufacturers have argued before lawmakers that making embedded code available would somehow endanger safety and environment. Now, they appear to concede that’s not the case, and will make some of that repair-critical code available. Clearly, their earlier claims were overblown. No more excuses, it’s time to make Right to Repair the law.”

Mr. O’Reilly is currently in Washington, D.C., for National Ag Week, where he is giving tours of the large agricultural equipment displayed on the National Mall. He is accompanied by a farmer, explaining the challenges to fixing that equipment. For more information or footage of the event, reach out to [email protected]