Subcommittee Hearing Covers Pros and Cons of “Right to Repair”

The House Small Business Subcommittee heard from both sides in the right-to-repair debate in agriculture. Industry Update Dot Com says lawmakers will have to consider measures that would require machine manufacturers to give customers the software, parts, and tools they want to make their own repairs. Ken Taylor of the Equipment Dealers Association expressed concern that giving people access to internal software in their equipment would allow them to change emissions and safety controls in tractors and other implements. While dealers already sell several parts directly to farmers, the manufacturer’s association doesn’t want customers tampering with controls for safety, environmental, and health reasons. Gay Gordon-Byrne represented the Repair Association and said farmers just want to be able to get parts and make repairs themselves. “All this worry about modifying emissions and tweaking tractors isn’t repair,” she says. “We just want to do something simple that’s been complicated by these questions.”