Fact Check

What Senator Warren Gets Wrong on Right to Repair

By Stephanie See
Director of State Government and Industry Relations, Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Sept. 3, 2019

Editor's note: This blog post responds to misinformation about repair rights by users of farm equipment found in a recent op-ed titled, "Farmers need a bill of rights."

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) represents the manufacturers of farm equipment. Our members’ customers, and thus our customers are farmers. No one cares more about meeting the needs of farmers than AEM and its member companies.

Manufacturers and dealers of farm equipment have a shared incentive with their customers to minimize downtime and maximize productivity. Agriculture equipment manufacturers and dealers are empowering our customers to choose how their equipment will be maintained and repaired. Our industry has voluntarily committed to providing the tools and information needed to properly, safely and legally diagnose and repair their own equipment.

Activists pushing so-called “Right to Repair” legislation seek unfettered access to the software that governs on-board technology in sophisticated farm and construction machines and equipment, putting the safety and security of users at risk. It also allows tampering with engine controls (also called “chipping” or “tuning”); illegal under the Clean Air Act, and recently costing one company $6.25 million for excess emissions from these actions.

Beyond running afoul of federally-mandated safety and emissions requirements, these practices undermine manufacturers' innovation and intellectual property and void valuable warranties.

While the equipment industry supports customers repairing their own equipment, we do not support breaking federal safety and environmental laws. We invite stakeholders to learn more by visiting www.r2rsolutions.org.