Pieces of legislation aimed at giving more power to consumers have thus far come up short in both the Kansas and Missouri legislatures.
Currently, many manufacturers of everything from farm equipment and vehicles to electronic devices do not release manuals, materials or tools to diagnose and repair their products. The policy forces many consumers to go back to the manufacturer to perform the repairs or risk violating warranty by seeking repair from a 3rd party.
“You simply price the repair or the maintenance service to be so high, because there is no competition, the obvious choice is to buy a new [product],” said Gay Gordon-Byrne, Executive Director of the Repair Association.
In Missouri, HB 1178 or the “Right to Repair Act,” would require manufacturers to provide diagnostic tools, repair manuals and affordable replacement parts to consumers and non-authorized repair providers.
The bill’s author, St. Louis democratic Rep. Tracy McCreery, says she was prompted to craft the legislation after seeing the effects manufacturer policies had on family members in the automotive and agriculture businesses.
“When people buy things, they should have the right to try and repair their own things and it's not fair to the consumer,” said McCreery.
Missouri is one of 11 states that have introduced similar legislation. Kansas’ version is House Bill 2122.