Right-to-repair refers to the legal concept that individuals and businesses should have the right to repair, modify, and maintain their own devices, equipment, and products. This movement primarily targets consumer electronics, appliances, vehicles, and other goods that are increasingly complex and difficult for end-users to repair due to various factors like proprietary designs, digital locks, and limited access to repair manuals and parts.

Advocates of right-to-repair argue that it promotes sustainability by extending the lifespan of products, reduces electronic waste, saves consumers money by allowing them to perform repairs themselves or choose independent repair shops, and fosters innovation by encouraging open access to information and repair tools. Meanwhile, opponents, often manufacturers and industry groups, argue that allowing third-party repairs could compromise product safety, security, and intellectual property rights. They also express concerns about warranty issues and the potential for substandard repairs.

The right-to-repair movement has gained significant attention in recent years, leading to legislative efforts in various jurisdictions to establish or expand consumer rights to repair their own products. The Right to Repair Act, for instance, which was signed into law in California in October 2023, joins state legislation in Colorado, Minnesota, and New York, which all passed right-to-repair laws in 2022. New York’s Digital Fair Repair Act requires original equipment manufacturers to make tools, parts, and diagnostic and repair information available to owners of digital electronic equipment, as well as to independent repair providers.