Farm equipment manufacturers would be required to provide repair shops with parts and manuals
By Diego Flammini
A member of the Manitoba NDP has introduced a bill that, if passed, would have implications on farm equipment in the province.
Jim Maloway (MLA for Elmwood), the NDP's critic for consumer protection, recently tabled Bill 216, which calls for changes to the Farm Machinery Act. The legislation would require equipment manufacturers to provide repair shops with up-to-date parts and other information.
“The key is the manufacturer has to provide current parts and manuals, at a fair cost, to the repair places,” Maloway told Farms.com. “And if the manufacturer doesn’t want to provide the parts or the manuals, they will have to reimburse the customer by getting them a new product or giving their money back.”
Maloway took inspiration for this bill from Europe.
New laws across Europe dictate manufacturers of products like washing machines, dishwashers and TVs must make spare parts, manuals and support available to third-party repair businesses for between seven and 10 years.
Equipment manufacturers are hesitant to provide such information.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, for example, says right to repair laws, especially with respect to source codes, are “not only unnecessary, (the laws) would risk the safety, durability and environmental sustainability of equipment.”
Farmers, however, only want to make sure they have options when it comes to repairs, Maloway said.
“A lot of the farmers I’ve spoken to just want their preferred repair shop to have the parts and the manuals to do the repairs,” he said. “If I were a manufacturer, I’d welcome this kind of legislation. I wouldn’t want my customer saying it was the dealer that sold me a lemon and try to hold me accountable. If you provide the parts and manuals to the repair shops, the responsibility shifts to them.”
Maloway has met with Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) about this bill.
Additional meetings will take place later this year, said Graham Schellenberg, a KAP spokesperson.
“KAP members have raised the matter of repairing their own farm machinery at meetings and we are planning to meet with MLA Maloway and (Finance) Minister Friesen in 2022 to discuss the issue,” he told Farms.com in an emailed statement.