Biden Proposed 'Right to Repair' Initiative

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When repairing a car, there are benefits to being able to use parts beyond those made by the car’s manufacturer. A recently proposed initiative from President Biden and the Federal Trade Commission would further limit restrictions against repairs.
Insurance Journal reports that the initiative’s goals are to expand the “right to repair.” This idea in repairs is popular among consumers and smaller businesses like repair shops. However, it is controversial among manufacturers.

What is the right to repair?

Mechanic working under the hood of a car
Biden recently proposed an initiative in support of right to repair.
The right to repair is the belief that a person should be able to use whatever parts they want when making repairs. This applies to phones, computers, video game consoles and even vehicles. For example, if your phone has a cracked screen, the right to repair supports replacing that screen with a new one that was not made by the manufacturer.
One of the biggest arguments in favor of the right to repair is that it helps keep costs down. If your vehicle needs repairs, and you can only use manufacturer parts, then the repair might be expensive. If parts made from third parties are available, you may be able to save money while still receiving a quality repair.
Right to repair is important for repair shops. Many repair shops are located in low-income areas and give people the chance to have repairs without breaking the bank. If these did not exist, they would have to go to the manufacturer, which would likely be more expensive.

Why some manufacturers oppose right to repair

One issue that manufacturers have with the right to repair is that it can lead to faulty repairs, which could be dangerous if done to the wrong product. If a repair shop replaces a manufacturer-made screen with a third party, the manufacturer cannot be confident that the screen would work. If the consumer then has issues with the phone, that could still negatively impact the image of the product.
They also worry about their intellectual property. When you purchase a car or a phone, right to repair believes that you should be able to do what you want with it. Manufacturers worry that this could lead to counterfeiting.
These may or may not be legitimate criticisms, but right to repair advocates believe that the manufacturers simply don’t want competition.

What is in Biden’s Initiative?

Biden signed an executive order to promote the right to repair. The order contains 72 items, which are meant to serve as recommendations and actions about the issue.
The biggest target of the right to repair executive order is monopolization. Without the right to repair, manufacturers have a monopoly over repairs and can control prices as much as they want.
Other items in the executive order seek to fight monopolies through other measures. This includes a recommendation to require airlines to give refunds for issues with lost or delayed baggage.
Whether or not the right to repair is a good thing depends on who you ask. For some, it promotes innovation and encourages competition, but for others, it can lead to faulty products. Either way, President Biden’s initiative seeks to promote the right to repair across the country.
When applied to a car, right to repair means being able to customize your car beyond the ideas of the manufacturer. As you customize your car, you may also want to customize your car insurance to fit your driving situation. If you want to make a switch in your insurance, let Jerry help.
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