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FTC takes action for illegally restricting customers’ “Right to Repair”

July 11, 2022

The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against grill maker Weber-Stephen Products, LLC, for illegally restricting customers’ right to repair their purchased products.

The FTC’s complaint charges that Weber’s warranty included terms that conveyed that the warranty is void if customers use or install third-party parts on their grill products. Weber is being ordered to fix its warranty by removing illegal terms and recognizing the right to repair and come clean with customers about their ability to use third-party parts.

“This is the FTC’s third right-to-repair lawsuit in as many weeks,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Companies that use their warranties to illegally restrict consumers’ right to repair should fix them now.”

Illinois-based Weber manufactures and sells grills and related products worldwide and offers limited warranties to consumers who buy its products that provide for no-cost repair or replacement, should the products have defects or other issues.

The FTC said it has made it a priority to protect consumers’ right to repair their products. The Magnuson Moss Warranty Act is one of the FTC’s tools to address repair restrictions. It prohibits a company from conditioning a consumer product warranty on the consumer’s using any article or service which is identified by brand name unless it is provided for free.

Following the FTC’s right to repair report Nixing the Fix, the Commission issued a Policy Statement on Repair Restrictions Imposed by Manufacturers pledging to ramp up investigations into illegal repair restrictions. The FTC recently announced complaints and orders against Harley-Davidson and the maker of Westinghouse outdoor generators for similar issues.

According to the FTC’s complaint, Weber imposed illegal warranty terms that voided customers’ warranties if they used or installed any third-party parts on their grill products. Further details of the complaint can be found here.

In June, the FTC took action against Harley-Davidson and Westinghouse ordering the companies to “fix warranties, come clean with customers, and compete fairly with independent repairers.”

Our take on this: Its nothing to do with the imaging industry, but it is great to see that the FTC is taking action on the matter of “Right to Repair” and is policing the manufacturers. This is such a positive step in the right direction and maybe it just needs one consumer complaint to the FTC against a printer OEM to get the ball rolling in our industry?

Categories : Around the Industry

Tags : Complaint FTC Right to Repair Weber

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