The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has released a report exploring the consequences of “right-to-repair” legislation. The study, “The Economic Downsides of Right-to-Repair,” examines the cost of providing “unfettered access to complex software and components in manufactured goods.” According to the report, “right-to-repair” policies go against laws that are designed to protect consumers and manufacturers, theorizing that such policies will negatively impact product quality and performance, as well as consumer safety and the economy. Another possible outcome of these policies is a disruption to original equipment manufacturers’ supply chains, leading to increased costs for consumers.
In an excerpt from the report, “Some states have implemented laws allowing consumers access to software and parts to “repair” their equipment while bypassing established, authorized channels. Imposing a general “right-to-repair” at the federal level on manufactured goods would ultimately alter how manufacturers operate their businesses, and there is no guarantee that consumers would benefit, as manufacturers would be forced to change the way their products perform, altering both the cost and user experience of their products. A patchwork of state-level regulations would likewise force manufacturers to make drastic changes to the way their products look and perform, potentially leading to significant compliance costs.”
In a recent quote, NAM Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram said, “For decades, manufacturing innovation has created new products and technologies that improve modern life. Unfortunately, so called ‘right-to-repair’ policies would threaten these programs, resulting in harm to the environment and putting American’s data and safety at risk.”