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Consumer Reports applauds New York Assembly and Senate for passage of the first digital right to repair bill in the country

Yonkers, NY — The New York Assembly and Senate approved key digital Right to Repair legislation today that is endorsed by Consumer Reports and based on CR’s model legislation. New York is now the first legislative body in the United States to pass such a measure. If the governor signs the bill into law, New York consumers will have the right to fix their electronic devices, or get them fixed by a repair servicer of their choosing, rather than being forced to go through the device manufacturer. 

“CR thanks Assembly Member Pat Fahy and Senator Neil Breslin for their leadership in sponsoring this important legislation. The Digital Fair Repair Act will ensure that New Yorkers have the ability to exercise their full traditional rights of ownership over products they purchase, including the right to get those products repaired. We are thrilled that New York has become the first state in the country to take this step.  It is a model for other states and Congress to follow,” said Chuck Bell, advocacy program director for Consumer Reports.  

Right to repair legislation has gained support in a number of states as manufacturers have made it difficult to make what should be simple repairs on their expensive devices. These manufacturers have restricted access to basic diagnostic information, tools, and replacement parts needed to make repairs. These tactics force consumers to rely on the manufacturer or its hand-picked servicers. Without competition and choice, repair costs get inflated. Sometimes the manufacturer even refuses to repair the product at all, forcing the consumer to throw it away and buy a new one. 

“Consumers in New York are on the cusp of having real choices for fixing the devices they own, which can give them more convenient options, save them money, prevent waste, and help protect the environment,” said Nandita Sampath, policy analyst for Consumer Reports. 

CR has long supported the right to repair. In addition to supporting similar bills in states around the country, CR has incorporated the right to repair into the 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.

According to a nationally representative survey carried out by Consumer Reports in November-December 2021, 84% of Americans said they agreed with a policy to require manufacturers to make repair information and parts available either to independent repair professionals or to product owners.

Contact: Cyrus Rassool, cyrus.rassool@consumer.org