iFixit and the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) have teamed up to go straight to the US Federal Trade Commission with a rulemaking petition urging it to implement national right-to-repair rules.
The petition [PDF], sent to the FTC on Tuesday, calls on the Commission to implement new regulations under its Section 5 powers, which gives the agency enforcement authority over "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce."
"The FTC has been a strong ally in protecting our right to fix everything we own," said Director of Sustainability for iFixit, Liz Chamberlain. "But for the FTC to be fully empowered to fix the things stopping us from fixing things, they need new rules. This petition for rulemaking aims to give the FTC the power they need to ensure that we can all fix all our things."
Under the FTC's Section 5 authority, PIRG noted, the FTC could require that consumable components and parts that commonly fail are made readily available through a product's lifespan, ensure consumers have the right to repair devices how and where they see fit, that key functions remain enabled after a manufacturer ends support for a product, and that independent repair shops aren't required to share customer data with manufacturers.