Letter from 59 Legislators to the FTC: We need Repair Scores

Take Action


Dear Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan,

When consumers can fix instead of replace electronics, it saves money, cuts harmful electronic waste and provides economic opportunity for local businesses. As the FTC has demonstrated in your “Nixing the Fix” report, repair is often restricted by the business practices of manufacturers, and also by the design of some of the products we buy.

State lawmakers, often with help from FTC staff, have made progress on removing repair restrictions over the last few years. However, consumers still face a lack of transparent repairability information available to them before they make an expensive purchase, such as whether the product is glued together, or lacks basic service instructions. 

Noting that the Commission voted unanimously in July of 2021 to “closely coordinate with state law enforcement and policymakers,” to combat repair restrictions, we are asking for the agency’s assistance in creating better transparency for potential customers seeking to understand the repairability of products at the point of sale. 

Nobody walks into an electronics store and thinks, “I’m going to buy something that breaks.” But how do we know which products are designed to last? 

As state lawmakers we are exploring reforms that provide our constituents with repair scores for products before they buy. In order to avoid duplication of efforts and maintain consistent repairability information across states, we are requesting federal support.

Repair scores for tech such as laptops, phones, and appliances, could work like EnergyGuide labels for repairability. They provide consumers with a 1 through 10 score that measures availability of spare parts, ease of disassembly, and longevity of support, before consumers purchase expensive devices.

We are asking the Federal Trade Commission to manage a voluntary criteria that would allow retailers and manufacturers to share with consumers how their products are designed to last. To ensure a consistent scoring criteria across the country, we need a federal standard. A national voluntary repair score criteria would allow us to efficiently bring these scores to our states. Similar to existing scoring policies, manufacturers could use a self-scoring rubric to allow efficient management of the criteria.

A study cited in the Commission’s Nixing the Fix report states, “the lack of information concerning durable and repairable products causes an asymmetry in the market balance and leaves consumers unable to make the best buying decisions regarding to their own needs.”1 Repair scores correct this asymmetry.

Samsung’s research on a similar program abroad found that 86% of surveyed French consumers say that the repair scoring impacts their purchasing behavior—including 8 out of 10 who indicated they would give up their favorite brand for a more repairable product.2 U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Failing the Fix found these scores have also encouraged manufacturers to improve their designs with repairability in mind.3

Scoring policies in other countries mean manufacturers already have these scores. With the Commission’s support, all Americans will have access to repair scores as well.




Alabama Senator Andrew Jones

Alaska Representative Zack Fields

Alaska Senator Scott Kawasaki

Colorado Representative Brianna Titone

Colorado Senator Janice Marchman

Colorado Representative Kyle Brown

California Assemblymember Luz M. Rivas

California Senator Dave Min

Delaware Representative Ruth Briggs King

Georgia Representative Marvin Lim

Georgia Representative Lydia Glaize

Hawaii Representative Gene Ward

Illinois Representative Michelle Mussman

Iowa Representative J.D. Scholten

Kentucky Representative Sarah Stalker

Maine Representative Lynne A. Williams

Maine Representative Victoria W. Doudera

Maine Representative Allison Hepler

Maine Representative Cheryl A. Golek

Maine Representative Lydia V. Crafts

Michigan Representative Erin Byrnes

Michigan Representative Natalie Price

Minnesota Representative Peter Fischer

Minnesota Representative Tina Liebling

Minnesota Senator John Marty

Nebraska Senator Tom Brandt

Nevada Assemblyman Howard Watts

Nevada Assemblywoman Tracy Brown-May

Nevada Assemblywoman Erica Mosca

New Hampshire Representative Matthew Coulon

New Hampshire Representative Eric B. Gallager

New Hampshire Representative Jason Gerhard

New Hampshire Representative Linda J Haskins

New Hampshire Representative Hope Damon

New Hampshire Representative John R. Cloutier

New Jersey Senator Shirley K. Turner

New Jersey Assemblywoman Sadaf F. Jaffer

New Mexico Representative Marian Matthews

New Mexico Representative Pamelya Herndon

New York Assemblywoman Donna A. Lupardo

New York Assemblyman Scott Bendett

New York Assemblymember Robert C. Carroll

New York Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther

New York Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal

New York Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon

North Carolina Representative Pricey Harrison

North Carolina Representative Julie von Haefen

North Dakota Senator Tim Mathern

Oklahoma Representative Jim Olsen

Oregon Senator Deb Patterson

Utah Senator Nate Blouin

Vermont Senator Andrew Perchlik

Vermont Senator Robert Norris

Vermont Representative Jessica C. Brumsted

Virginia Delegate Michelle Lopes Maldonado

Washington Representative Julia Reed

Washington Representative Beth Doglio

Washington Senator Yasmin Trudeau

Wisconsin Senator Kelda Roys

  1.  E. Ober et al., Planned obsolescence: the government’s choice?, PLATE: Product lifetimes and the environment: Conference Proceedings of PLATE 2017, 8-10 Nov. 2017, Delft, the Netherlands, Amsterdam: IOS Press, pp. 315- 318, at 318 (2017); Federal Trade Commission. “Nixing the Fix: An FTC Report to Congress on Repair Restrictions,” May 2021. https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/nixing-fix-ftc-report-congress-repair-restrictions/nixing_the_fix_report_final_5521_630pm-508_002.pdf.
  2.  U.S. PIRG Education Fund. “‘Failing the Fix’ Scorecard Helps You Buy a Repairable Laptop and Cellphone,” February 9, 2023. https://pirg.org/resources/failing-the-fix/.
  3.  ibid.

Lucas Gutterman

Director, Designed to Last Campaign, PIRG

Lucas leads PIRG’s Designed to Last campaign, fighting against obsolescence and e-waste and winning concrete policy changes that extend electronic consumer product lifespans and hold manufacturers accountable for forcing upgrades or disposal.

Find Out More