FTC Exploring Consumer Repair Rights Expansion



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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