The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a meeting in Washington, D.C., next week to examine ways in which manufacturers may limit third-party repairs and whether those limitations affect consumer protection. Titled “Nixing the Fix: A Workshop on Repair Restrictions,” the July 16 session at the Constitution Center is open to the public and will discuss some of the issues that arise when a manufacturer restricts or makes it impossible for a consumer or an independent repair shop to make product repairs and whether such restrictions undercut the Warranty Act’s protections. The afternoon workshop will consist of three panel discussions: How do repair restrictions affect consumers and small businesses? What are the arguments for and against repair restrictions? and What is the fix?
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) has been working with interested industry partners to use the event as another opportunity to shed light on the challenges repair stations face when trying to obtain maintenance manuals and the FAA’s unwillingness to enforce the relevant regulations. As it considers policy changes, the FTC is seeking research and data focused on such limitations, which would need to be submitted by September 16.