Late last week, three Right to Repair bills were introduced in the Michigan legislature. Both chambers had bills introduced, although they were not identical bills.
House Bill 4562 is a broad-based bill applying to all electronic equipment, however the definition of a product covered under the legislation specifically singles out agricultural equipment. The bill has five co-sponsors (4D, 1R) and has been assigned to the House Regulatory Reform Committee. No hearing is scheduled yet.
In the Senate, there are a pair of bills that are essentially one bill with the definitions and operative provisions of the bill split into two separate bills. SB 342 and SB 341 are specific to agricultural equipment. Both bills have been assigned to the Senate Finance, Insurance, and Consumer Protection Committee.
As for the substance of these bills, both the House and Senate versions would require manufacturers to sell parts to owners and independent repair shops at dealer net cost. This requirement turns your supplier into your competitor and would prohibit the dealer from making a profit if the parts are sold through the dealership. This is standard language in Right to Repair bills we’ve seen across the country, and we will fight to defeat it.
The other common requirement between the bills would require OEMs to allow unfettered access to embedded software and all security locks or security related functions. This creates an unacceptable risk of modification for our industry.
Finally, the House bill creates a mandate that manufacturers must provide all parts, tools, documentation, and diagnostics for performing warranty repairs. Although the bill is not clear, it purports to mandate that owners and independent repair shops can perform warranty work. This is not a provision we typically see in Right to Repair bills and would clearly be an unconstitutional interference with warranty contracts.
We are working these bills and reaching out to sponsors to find out what their intent is. A hearing is expected at some point, and we will be relying on dealers to step up for the campaign to defeat these bills. Dealer engagement has made all the difference on these bills in the past and we will give you all the information you need to be effectively involved.
Please contact me with any questions you have. We will keep you updated on the status of these bills as we move forward.