Consumer Alert:
Attorney General James Reminds Consumers It's Easier Than Ever to Get Electronics Repaired in New York

NYS Digital Fair Repair Law Makes it Easier for Consumers to Repair Broken Electronics at Independent Repair Shops Statewide
AG James Provides More Info on the Law and Encourages New Yorkers to Report Businesses Overcharging for Repairs of Electronics

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today reminded New Yorkers that the New York State Digital Fair Repair Act recently went into effect statewide, making repairs of cell phones, tablets, and other electronics simpler and more affordable. The law makes it easier to get electronics repaired at independent shops or do repairs at home by requiring manufacturers doing business in New York to make certain documents, tools, and parts widely available. Limited access to documents, tools, and parts previously meant fewer options for repairs, resulting in higher prices and longer wait times. Businesses that fail to follow the new rules could face civil penalties.  

“Phones and computers are lifelines for many New Yorkers, and getting them fixed is now more affordable and convenient than ever before,” said Attorney General James. "For too long, companies made it impossible for New Yorkers to fix their own electronics without paying excessive prices for repairs. This new law gives consumers the freedom to repair their own devices and allows independent repair shops to compete with lower prices. My office will hold any manufacturer accountable that fails to follow this new law."  

The New York Digital Fair Repair Act (Repair Act), General Business Law 399-nn, provides New York consumers with increased options to repair digital products. The Repair Act went into effect on December 28, 2023 and requires manufacturers to make diagnostic and repair information for digital electronic parts and equipment available to independent repair stores. 

“This new recently enacted Right to Repair law, the first of its kind in the United States, will provide greater choice and affordability for consumers if they choose to repair their electronic devices, while also significantly reducing the amount of electronic waste, said State Senator Neil D. Breslin, the bill’s Senate sponsor. “This new law is not only good for the environment but for small businesses as well. I applaud New York State Attorney General Letitia James for championing this important new law, highlighting its significance so New Yorkers are aware of its potential benefit.”

“New York’s landmark and first-in-the-nation right to repair puts consumers first, leveling the playing field for independent repair shops, and reducing our e-waste footprint on the environment,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, the bill’s Assembly sponsor. “Under the new law, now in effect, electronics manufacturers must allow access to critical information and parts required by independent, local repair shops to complete repairs on many electronic products, ending what is a monopoly on the repair market by big tech and incentivizing competition. At the same time, we’re also reducing the 655,000 tons of toxic e-waste produced in a single calendar year here in New York state, where 85 percent of that waste ends up in a landfill. Thank you to Attorney General James for reminding New Yorkers that this legislation is now law, Senator Neil Breslin for sponsoring the law in the Senate, and to all of the tireless national fair repair advocates who worked to have New York lead the way. I’m thrilled New York’s leadership has spurred other states into action, such as California and Minnesota, galvanized the effort to enact a right to repair law at the national level, and I am more convinced than ever that all Americans will eventually enjoy a comprehensive and real ‘right to repair’ as this movement continues to grow.”

What does the Repair Act Require?  

The Repair Act requires original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of digital electronic equipment “to make diagnostic and repair information available to independent repair providers and consumers if such parts and repair information are also available to OEM authorized repair providers.” Manufacturers must offer access to owners of the covered products as well as independent repair providers.  

Access to documents and many tools must be provided on “fair and reasonable terms.” For documents, this means at no charge. For parts and certain tools, it means offering them at the same cost as they are offered to manufacturer-authorized and affiliated businesses.  

What products are covered?   

The Repair Act applies to “digital electronic equipment” which means any product over $10 that depends on digital electronics to function. This includes many toys, phones, computers/printers, televisions, home entertainment systems, cameras, tools, or other products that use or rely on digital electronics. The Repair Act only applies to products made or sold in New York after July 1, 2023, and does not require manufacturers to share trade secrets. The new law also excludes certain products, including motor vehicles, home appliances, medical devices, off-road equipment, farm equipment, yard or garden equipment, construction equipment, power tools, and public safety communications equipment.   

Enforcement by the New York Attorney General 

Under the Repair Act, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is tasked with enforcing the new law and is authorized to investigate potential violations and take action when appropriate, including seeking restitution and civil penalties.  

Consumers and repair shops can contact the manufacturer for the documents, tools, and parts necessary for repairs. Anyone who has reason to believe the Repair Act is being violated can file a complaint with OAG’s Consumer Frauds Bureau.