"Right to repair" in Europe and maybe more of US


Right to repair is an issue in more than just technology. John Deere is the subject of a class action suit on behalf of farmers and ranchers wanting to repair their own equipment.

Cars are also a potential source of right to repair issues that might hit closer to home for many of us. Modern cars are rolling computers with a bit of metal hanging off of them. They have local area networks (often more than one) that allow various modules to communicate with each other to accomplish everything from monitoring engine performance to raising and lowering windows. Car makers vary widely about how much repair information they make available to end users and independent shops.

Car makers are also users of the idea of tying components together, requiring a new component to be introduced to the rest of the vehicle using some kind of proprietary software. Some of this makes sense (like vehicle security modules, which store unlock codes in two or more modules to make vehicle theft harder). Some doesn’t. (Perhaps new sensors needing to be introduced to their control module is an example.)

At any rate, there is a lot going on behind the scenes in the right to repair area.