By on May 24, 2021


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has identified numerous repair restrictions in a new report to Congress. Parts replacement difficulty and parts availability limitations were among the restrictions.

Assisting in expanding repair options available to consumers is within the agency’s power. The Commission works with lawmakers on the state or federal level to provide choices when consumers repairs.

Congress directed the Commission to release the report, knowing that they have been reviewing how manufacturers, particularly automotive and mobile phone makers, have limited repairs by consumers and independent repair shops.

The report, entitled ‘Nixing the Fix: An FTC Report to Congress on Repair Restrictions’, was issued earlier this month.

These limitations increase costs, restrict choice, and impact consumers’ rights protected under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA). Dealer service department and original equipment parts reliance deceived consumers.

Bill Hanvey, Auto Care Association president/CEO said, “The Association is proud of its efforts to secure right to repair legislation on a state and federal level“.

“We hope this report will be the beginning of increased efforts by the FTC to join us in addressing vehicle manufacturers’ anti-competitive actions.”

Manufacturers must demonstrate that a non-original equipment part or related service caused the problem before denying warranty coverage.

Congress also requested that the FTC make recommendations how to alleviate these problems.

Promoting competition, protecting and educating consumers, and reinforcing best business practices is the work of the FTC.

[Image: © 2021, J. Sakurai/TTAC]

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7 Comments on “FTC Exploring Consumer Repair Rights Expansion...”

  • avatar

    Well that press release turned into a story said nothing.

  • avatar

    Just put Louis Rossman in charge of it.

  • avatar

    For those unfamiliar, the right to repair has become an important issue in numerous industries. John Deere is screwing farmers awfully in this way, and therefore everyone who eats. Apple shafts its customers by monopolizing repairs for iPhones and other Apple devices with lies about safety, driving up prices and driving independent shops out of business.

    Cars are really not the focus of the Right To Repair problem. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss warranty law, you can take your new car to an indie shop and not have the maker claim you’ve voided the warranty. It should be that way in every business, but it’s not, and legislators bought by companies like Apple are the only reason why.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t forget about military equipment, where manufacturers of defense equipment say that only they can work on it… even when it takes days or weeks for manufacturer reps to get to the field.

      Good to see this topic getting more coverage and traction. Doesn’t matter if it’s Apple, GM, Microsoft, John Deere or Oshkosh (JLTV’s) – these companies need a firm smackdown by we the people.

      This crap has gone on far too long.

  • avatar

    The flip side of the coin is the saturation of poor quality, cheap knockoff parts in the market. A Toyota water pump should last ten years or more. An inexpensive (profitable for the shop) copy might not last even one year. Does the customer know what level of quality their new water pump really has?

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