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California eyes ‘right to repair’ smartphone law, may join 17 other states

California may add its voice to a growing chorus of states seeking to enact “Right to Repair” laws that would let owners of mobile and other electronic devices get their hardware fixed by third parties without voiding manufacturer warranties.

California Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-District 13) introduced a “Right to Repair” Act that would require electronics makers to offer diagnostic and repair information, as well as equipment or service parts, to product owners and independent repair shops. Talamentes’ bill joins efforts in 17 other states that have introduced similar Right-to-Repair legislation.

Talamantes and others argue that consumers who can’t afford the high price of manufacturer-based repair services are increasingly forced to prematurely replace durable goods, such as smartphones or laptops.

Repairing and reusing electronics is not only a more efficient use of the scarce materials that go into manufacturing the products, she argued, “but it can also stimulate local economies instead of unsustainable overseas factories.”

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