Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy today announced that the Assembly has passed the Digital Fair Repair Act, which would give consumers and independent repair shops the ability to repair their cell phones, computers and other personal devices (A.7006-B, Fahy).
“This legislation will give New Yorkers the ability to fix their devices on their own or find someone else to do it for them without having to send it in to the manufacturer,” Speaker Heastie said. “Ending a monopoly on repairs will help small repair businesses, help consumers save money and reduce electronic waste.”
“The Digital Fair Repair Act puts consumers first, levels the playing field for independent repair shops, and reduces our e-waste footprint on the environment,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “By requiring digital electronics manufacturers to allow access to critical information and parts required by independent, local repair shops to complete repairs on most products, this legislation ends what is a monopoly on the repair market by corporate actors and incentivizes competition within the industry. At the same time, we’d also help to reduce the 655,000 tons of toxic e-wastetypically produced in a single calendar year here in New York State. Thank you to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senator Neil Breslin, and all of the repair advocates who worked to get the Digital Fair Repair Act over the finish line this year.”
This legislation would require manufacturers of digital electronics like cellphones and computers to make diagnostic and repair information and parts available for sale to independent repairers. This will prevent manufacturers from creating a monopoly on repair services and forcing consumers to pay, often inflated prices, for repair exclusively through their repair division. This lack of competition on the part of manufacturers creates a high cost for consumers, small business and government operations, limits used equipment markets and results in equipment being discarded before the end of its useful life. According to a study by the U.S. Public Interest Group (USPIRG), the average family in New York would save approximately $330 per year and reduce electronic waste by 22 percent.