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Oregon Governor signs landmark right to repair bill into law

Consumer Reports applauds new law that provides Oregonians with the right to repair their digital devices

Salem, OR. — Oregon Governor Tina Kotek today signed a landmark right to repair bill (Senate Bill 1596) into law. The new law is designed to make it easier and less expensive for consumers to fix their broken devices, while reducing the tons of electronic waste that wind up in landfills.

Under the Oregon law, manufacturers of consumer electronics and household appliances must provide the repair tools and information required to diagnose, maintain and fix their products. It will extend the right to repair phones, tablets, and other digital devices to more than 4 million people. These consumers will be able to take their broken devices to the independent repair shop they choose, or fix it themselves, instead of being locked into the manufacturer’s repair service.  

The Oregon law is also the first in the nation to prevent parts pairing, which refers to a manufacturer’s practice of using software to identify component parts through a unique identifier. Manufacturers can use parts pairing to prevent access to repair or confuse the consumer about a third-party repair’s efficacy. As consumers increasingly purchase products with a software component and those products are connected to the internet, the lack of clarity around repair rules can mean that these devices exist in a gray area where even after a consumer purchases a product, the manufacturer retains control and ownership of it. 

Justin Brookman, director of tech policy at Consumer Reports, said, “Consumer Reports actively supports laws to protect a consumer’s right to repair their own products. It reduces waste, saves consumers money, and offers you more choices when it comes to maintaining your expensive gadgets and appliances. 

“We’ve seen California, New York, and Minnesota pass right to repair laws in the last two years, and Oregon’s law now means that nearly 70 million Americans have the right to repair the devices they own. The law also raises the bar for future right to repair legislation by preventing software from becoming a tool to enforce manufacturers’ monopolies on the repair process.” 

Consumer Reports thanked Oregon Senator Janeen Sollman and Representative Courtney Neron for championing this bill and their leadership in shepherding it through the legislative process. 

Consumer Reports provided testimony to support the bill in both the Oregon House and the Senate, and we organized consumers across the state to tell their legislators to vote “yes.”.  

Consumer Reports 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. 

Contact: cyrus.rassool@consumer.org