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The Proposed Canadian Right to Repair Bill Would Have Unintended Harmful Consequences

Original source: National Newswatch

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Ottawa—A private member’s bill to expand the right of owners to repair farm and construction machinery could negatively affect human safety and emissions-control devices, says the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

The bill would allow owners and others to access a machine’s operating software and that could disrupt the operation of features designed to reduce harmful emissions and protect human life, Kip Eideberg, AEM’s Senior Vice President of Government and Industry Relations, said in a letter to the Commons industry committee, which is studying the bill.

The bill from B.C. Liberal MP Wilson Miao would have much broader impact than is intended, Eideberg said. It would “allow third-parties to legally access to software code and modify the operating software that controls off-road equipment.”

The idea that access to operating software would only be used for diagnosis, maintenance and repair is unfortunately misguided, he said. “The Equipment Dealers Association surveyed its members and found 33 per cent had modified equipment come into their dealership in the last 24 months.”

AEM members already support and enable equipment owners’ ability to diagnose and repair their equipment, he said. “Equipment owners already have access to on-board diagnostic systems, electronic diagnostic service tools, technical manuals, product guides, fault codes, and product service information.

“When an operator sees a fault code appear on their equipment performance monitors, they rightly want to identify this problem and fix it. Manufacturers and their dealer networks fully support this first principle.”

While the bill will not change access to the tools and information already available to owners diagnose, replace parts and get their equipment working, it will allow access to software code and enable modification of the operating software.

The New York state legislature has passed the most advanced right to repair legislation in the U.S. “has rightly built in an exclusion for motor vehicles, home appliances, medical devices, public safety communications equipment, agricultural equipment, and off-road equipment.

“Canada should not put itself off-side with its most important trading partner by moving forward with such broad legislation.”

Eideberg also criticized supporting Miao’s right to repair bill “as critical to the well-being of our environment because it will ensure that manufactured items will be repaired instead of ending up in a landfill. This simply is not applicable for off-road equipment in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining, and utility sectors. Off-road equipment is manufactured in low-volumes with typical lifespans measured in decades, retaining value as the machines undergo several refurbishments. At end of life, off-road equipment is efficiently recycled recovering the high value of the steel.

... GO TO Right to repair Bill TO READ MORE

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