News Release

STATEMENT: Right to Repair passes in New York State

Legislature votes to let New Yorkers fix a wide range of devices including cell phones, laptops

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The New York state Assembly approved a new Right to Repair bill Friday by a vote of 145 to 1. The legislation, sponsored by Assemblymember Patricia Fahy and state Sen. Neil Breslin, passed the state Senate earlier this week by a vote of 59 to 4, and now goes to Gov. Kathy Hochul to be signed into law. 

The bill covers a wide range of devices with a microprocessor, including cell phones, tablets and IT equipment. However, it excludes cars (which have a previous Right to Repair agreement), farm and heavy equipment, appliances, police radios, medical equipment and gaming consoles. It requires manufacturers to make repair materials -- parts, tools and service information -- available to consumers and independent repair providers on fair and reasonable terms. Despite intense opposition from a wide range of powerful manufacturers, the bill passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support. New York’s bill is the second state-level Right to Repair measure passed this month: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a powered wheelchair Right to Repair bill into law on Thursday

PIRG’s Senior Right to Repair Campaign Director Nathan Proctor made the following statement after this landmark win:

"New Yorkers from Niagara Falls to Long Island won a hard-earned victory today -- and if repair can make it there, it can make it everywhere. 

“This is a massive breakthrough. This Right to Repair law will save people money, it will protect local repair businesses and it will cut unnecessary, toxic electronic waste. I’m grateful for all the lawmakers who stood up to some of the biggest and most powerful companies in the world to do the right thing for their constituents and for the environment.

“Legislators in dozens of states have introduced Right to Repair bills, but New York is the first state to pass a law that covers popular consumer devices such as cell phones. We’ve been close in several other states, only to have manufacturer opposition stall our progress. And we aren’t done yet. We know that farmers also need to fix their tractors, and people need to fix home appliances. We know we can overcome the opposition and win results for people who just want to fix their stuff. 

“Electronic waste is the fastest growing American waste stream. It takes a massive toll on the environment to mine the materials, and then build and ship all these electronics. We cannot allow the manufacturer to block repairs, and force people to constantly replace products or pay through the nose for ‘authorized’ service. Right to Repair is common-sense: if it breaks, fix it. We hope to keep expanding repair access so that people can fix all the products they rely on.” 

Right to Repair in New York was supported by a wide range of environmental, consumer and repair groups. The coalition, organized by Repair.org, includes U.S. PIRG and NYPIRG, iFixit, Electronic Frontiers Foundation, Consumer Reports Advocacy, Repair Preservation Group Action Fund and many others. 

Gay Gordon-Byrne, Executive Director of Repair.org said: “Every consumer in New York is going to benefit from this landmark legislation. We'll all be able to fix the stuff we like,  stop being forced to buy new things we don't want, and make it possible for the secondary market to provide high quality options for reuse.”

Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, said: "This is a huge deal. iFixit has fought for over a decade for consumer's right to repair their products. We're looking forward to working with manufacturers to get service documentation in the hands of more people."

“The Digital Fair Repair Act puts consumers first, levels the playing field for independent repair shops, and reduces our e-waste footprint on the environment,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, the bill's sponsor. “By requiring digital electronics manufacturers to allow access to critical information and parts required by independent, local repair shops to complete repairs on most products, this legislation ends what is a monopoly on the repair market by corporate actors and incentivizes competition within the industry. At the same time, we’d also help to reduce the 655,000 tons of toxic e-waste produced typically discarded in a single calendar year here in New York State. Thank you to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senator Neil Breslin, and all of the repair advocates who worked to get the Digital Fair Repair Act over the finish line this year.”

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