The Right to Repair Act was signed in California in October 2023. It builds on the robust protection of the state’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, which was added to the legislature over five decades prior. Song-Beverly’s purpose is to ensure that applicable California-purchased products are maintained under the terms of their warranties and that if any appropriate repairs are needed, the avenues are available to have them made. Should the same issue(s) persist after what Song-Beverly deems a “reasonable” amount of such repair efforts, the manufacturer is obligated to refund the buyer or provide a replacement.
California’s implementation of Right to Repair goes further still, meaning that manufacturers must supply the necessary parts, equipment, and manuals for repairing applicable products for a period of either three or seven years, depending on the value of the production question (between $50 and $99 in the former case and more than $100 in the latter).
Consumers should, in short, have the right to a product that works as specified for its lifetime. Issues and defects will, sadly and inevitably, arise at times. When they do, it shouldn’t be a terrible hassle to have them rectified or even have repairs performed by the customer themselves. In some cases, as noted by the UK’s own right-to-repair legislation, the law is intended to allow DIY repairs of less complex issues while ensuring that parts are available for tradespeople to tackle harder ones.