Reuters reports that class action lawsuits filed in federal court Tuesday and Wednesday allege that Tesla is violating antitrust laws by restricting access to repair and replacement parts, causing consumers to wait longer for maintenance and increase their costs.
In response, Lucas Rockett Gutterman from PIRG, a public interest advocacy group that supports the Right To Repair, issued the following statement:
“When you or I buy a car, we should expect to be able to install basic add-ons such as a roof rack or a trailer hitch. Using software lockouts to limit customers to only brand-authorized products seems to violate the basic idea that I bought the car, and it’s mine.
The conduct that Tesla is accused of is hardly unique. The FTC has recently been enforcing its longstanding protections against repair barriers more stringently, perhaps most notably in a recent case against Harley-Davidson. It’s illegal for a company to void its warranties if you attach a third-party item to its product. Logically, locking you out of the product’s software under the same circumstances should be illegal as well.
Tethering customers to the manufacturer not only tramples on consumer rights, it exacerbates the electronic waste crisis. It’s a disaster for our planet, which is flooded with disposable products that could have been repaired or repurposed.
Unreasonable software restrictions and obsolescence are against the spirit of the law, restrict competition, and leave us with less money in our pockets and more trash strewn across our planet. Companies should support our Right to Repair and the broader repair ecosystem, and design products to last.”
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