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New state law in effect to support electronic consumers and independent repair shops

Californians will now have an easier time getting their electronics fixed quickly at local repair shops.

As part of a new wave of laws that went into effect on July 1, electronic and appliance manufacturers must provide service tools, parts, and instructions on how to repair their products for consumers and independent shops. Senate Bill 244, the Right to Repair Act, aims to create a fair marketplace for third-party vendors to benefit consumers. Similar bills have passed in New York, Minnesota, Oregon, and Colorado.

Authored by Senator Susan Eggman of Stockton, the Right to Repair Act pertains to electronics such as cell phones, desktop and laptop computers, and other home appliances. There are restrictions on appliances such as alarm systems, video games, and electronics specific to particular industries.

This law not only helps consumers and small businesses, but increasing accessibility to third-party repairs works to reduce electronic waste, benefitting the environment as well. Over 50 environmental organizations have publically supported the Act, including Californians Against Waste, Clean Water Action, and the Mojave Desert and Mountain Recycling Authority.

As it is a state-wide bill, the Right to Repair Act will also affect the Morongo Basin. Eric Mariscal of MJM Network Computer & Phone Repair in Twentynine Palms said Apple has notably made it difficult for third-party vendors to make same-day repairs. These shops must use an Apple-specific program to request maintenance parts, requiring customers to decide between local repairs or driving to an Apple store. With the new law, customers now have more options to receive fast, effective service.

The Right to Repair Act pertains to products first sold, manufactured, or used in California from July 1, 2024 onwards. Regardless of warranties, it covers products valued between $50 and $99.99 for three years and products of $100 or more for seven. However, manufacturers are not required to divulge anti-theft disabling locks, trade secrets, source codes, or license intellectual property.


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