Minnesota passes landmark right-to-repair law for electronic devices

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz this week signed into law a new bill that gives consumers the right to repair their electronic devices and gadgets, albeit with a few exceptions. Minnesota is not the first U.S. state to pass a right-to-repair legislation for consumer electronics, as states like New York and Colorado have also passed similar legislation in recent years. Others, like Washington and Maine, have also proposed similar laws that would offer consumers the ability to repair their electronic gadgets and appliances.

The Minnesota law is part of an omnibus appropriations bill (SF 2774) that goes into effect on July 1, 2024, and contains a “digital fair repair” clause that covers most consumer electronics, except video game consoles, motor vehicles, medical devices, cybersecurity tools, residential energy storage systems, and farm and construction equipment. However, it does include most other household electronics, including smartphones, laptops, televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, smart home devices, and more.

The law requires electronics manufacturers to make repair tools and manuals available to consumers and independent repair shops so that they can fix broken devices without having to pay a premium to get them repaired from the company’s own service centers. The law applies to all products sold on or after July 1st, 2021, and stipulates that the necessary repair tools and documents must be made available to consumers free of charge within 60 days. Not doing so will be a violation of the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices statute, and will invite penalties.

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