The US Federal Trade Commission has: ordered Harley-Davidson and generator company MWE Investments to stop voiding customer warranties for repairs, marking another step in the FTC’s battle over the right to repair.
The order covers Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Westinghouse outdoor generators and related equipment manufactured by MWE. Both companies must remove illegal terms in their warranties that discouraged customers from using third-party parts and repair services, and the warranties must inform consumers that they can perform third-party repairs without affecting their coverage. They must also proactively inform buyers of their rights and order officially authorized dealers to avoid misleading customers about the warranty or promoting official parts over those of third parties.
“Illegal repair restrictions can significantly increase costs for consumers, stifle innovation, shut down business opportunities for independent repair shops, create unnecessary electronic waste, delay timely repairs and undermine resilience,” said FTC Chairman Lina Khan. in a statement† “It is critical that illegal repair restrictions remain an important area of focus for the Commission.”
The FTC and several state legislators have pushed official right to repair policies in recent years, while companies like iFixit have launched public campaigns to pressure Apple and other hardware makers to support independent repair options. Khan stated that the topic would be a specific area of focus for the FTC last year, following an executive order from President Joe Biden.