Federal Trade Commission to host workshop on repair restrictions

Shops have opportunity to submit comments to FTC.

Alexandra Moyer

Mark your calendar.

The Federal Trade Commission at 9 a.m. on July 16 will be hosting a workshop titled “Nixing the Fix: A Workshop on Repair Restrictions.”

It will specifically examine how manufacturers may limit third-party repairs and if those limitations impact consumer protection.

The FTC is a federal agency that aims to protect consumers and “competition by preventing anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices through law enforcement, advocacy, and education without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.”

The FTC has reached out to industry groups, such as ASA, and requested that repairers assist their efforts to determine issues relative to manufacturer restrictions on repair shops. Currently, FTC staff is asking for empirical research and data in response to the following questions:
  • The prevalence of the certain types of repair restrictions
  • The effect of repair restrictions on the repair market in the United States, and the impact that manufacturers’ repair restrictions have on small and local businesses
  • The effect repair restrictions have on prices for repairing goods, accessibility and timeliness of repairs, and the quality of repairs
  • The effect of repair restrictions on consumers’ ability to repair warrantied products or to have the products repaired by independent repair shops
  • The relationship between repair restrictions and the sale of extended warranties by manufacturers
  • Manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions and the factual basis for such justifications
  • The risks posed by repairs made by consumers or independent repair shops
  • The liability faced by manufacturers when consumers or independent repair workers are injured while repairing a product
  • The liability faced by manufacturers when consumers are injured after using or coming into contact with a product that has been repaired improperly by a consumer or independent repair shop
  • Whether consumers understand the existence and the effects of repair restrictions

The deadline to submit information is April 30, 2019. Information on how to submit research and a presentation can be found here.

Alexandra Moyer

Alexandra Moyer serves as a Legislative Analyst for the Automotive Service Association. She has worked on Capitol Hill over the past year, in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Republican National Committee. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Alexandra earned a B.S. in Political Science from Towson University.

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