SPRINGFIELD – Legislation backed by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group would require farming equipment manufacturers to make software required for repairs available to consumers for purchase.
House Bill 3061, introduced as the “Digital Right to Repair Act” in February by Democratic Rep. Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg, would mandate that manufacturers, by 2022, provide farmers with the same diagnostic materials available to official repair providers.
It would also require the manufacturers to make parts necessary for repair, including software, available for purchase.
The legislation comes after the release of a report by the U.S. PIRG that alleges farmers are unable to sufficiently repair tractors purchased from John Deere and other manufacturers because they withhold the software necessary to do so.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, of which John Deere is a prominent member, promised that by 2021, they would give farmers the necessary tools to fix their machinery.
However, Deere has fallen short of that commitment, so farmers – and all Americans, who rely on them to produce food – are worse off,” U.S. PIRG Education Fund Right to Repair Advocate Kevin O’Reilly said in a release announcing the report.