Sacramento, CA — Consumer Reports applauded the California State Assembly for passing a landmark digital right to repair bill (Senate Bill 244), which requires electronics and appliance manufacturers to provide parts, tools, and documentation to both independent repair shops and product owners. The bill passed 50-0.
The bill is expected to get a final vote by the state Senate, and if approved, it will head to Governor Newsom’s desk. If the governor signs itl into law, it would be the strongest right to repair law in the nation, and expand the right to repair to nearly 40 million people.
Under the bill, Californians would gain the ability to repair their phones, tablets, and other digital devices either at their chosen repair shops, or they could get the necessary parts and instructions to perform the repairs themselves.
Justin Brookman, director of tech policy at Consumer Reports, said, “California is on the cusp of providing powerful new digital rights to every person in the state. This is the strongest right to repair bill in the country. It would save the typical consumer hundreds of dollars in repairs every year, and it would help reduce the tons of electronic waste in our landfills. This bill is good for your wallet, and good for the environment.
“The bill gives California consumers the freedom to decide how they want to fix the devices they own. For far too long, manufacturers have imposed expensive repairs on consumers, even when the device could be fixed by the consumer with the necessary parts and instructions, or taken to a local repair shop that costs a lot less money.
“The right to repair movement is gaining momentum across the U.S. Having a strong right to repair law in the most populous state in the country will send a strong message to companies: consumers demand the right to repair the devices they own. We urge Governor Newsom to not hesitate in signing this bill into law.”
Consumer Reports crafted a model right to repair bill that helped shape this California bill, as well as legislation in other states and Congress.
The nonprofit consumer research and advocacy organization was instrumental in helping New York and Minnesota become the first two states in the country to pass right to repair laws in the past year. CR has also incorporated the right to repair into its Digital Standard, a set of best practices that CR uses to evaluate the privacy and security of software, digital platforms and services, and internet-connected products, as well as to help influence the design of these products.
If Senate Bill 244 is enacted in California, the state will become just the third state in the country to have a digital right to repair law.