Tesla’s Right to Repair

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Updated October 3, 2022

Perhaps you’ve followed the Right to Repair movement like a tech-savvy hawk or have only heard about it recently. Either way, the movement continues impacting the consumer world by calling on federal and state officials to push manufacturers to expand access to parts, service manuals, and software.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The auto industry has built up restrictive repair rules, forcing many repairs to be completed only by authorized dealerships.
  • The Right to Repair movement is fighting for companies like Telsa to expand parts and proprietary tools to consumers and third-party repair shops.
  • Tesla has fought against Right to Repair measures, claiming safety hazards come with widening public access.

Finally, after years of effort, the movement is seeing headway. As a result, many large brands are changing their policies. To help you understand how these measures affect you, we track tech companies’ reactions to the movement. Below, we’ll analyze the king of electric vehicles and explain Tesla’s Right to Repair response.

Insider Tip

If you want to advocate for the Right to Repair Movement, call or write your local congressional representative and request that they vote yes on any current consumer rights legislation up for debate.

However, if you’re curious about how the movement affects the medical field, you can also check our article explaining what SB 605 is.

Tesla’s Right to Repair Response

Although details vary depending on the product, repair advocates fight for many of the same things regardless of industry. Right to Repair aims to expand access to key materials so that independent repair shops have greater access to parts, diagnostic tools, software updates, and training manuals concerning durable goods. For more on this, we have an entire article dedicated to discussing what a durable good is.

The automotive industry is one of the most highly guarded sectors. It has long restricted independent shops’ access to car parts and body repair manuals. And because of stifled public access, there’s little competition. The unfortunate reality is that repair costs could, with greater access, be much lower.

Tesla, in particular, has hoarded its intellectual property from repair technicians. However, in early 2021, U.S. President Joe R. Biden penned an executive order calling on the Federal Trade Commission to draft repair legislation. The administration advocated for allowing consumers and independent repair stores greater freedom to parts and service offerings.

Warning

Tesla technically has the right to deny a car from its Supercharger Network if there is unauthorized repair or modification done to a vehicle.

Since the executive order, companies like Tesla have reacted by publicizing some service manuals and diagnostic tools. However, the EV leader remains vigorously opposed to the movement and is lobbying against expanding repair rights within the auto industry.

For more on the political history of repair advocacy within the automotive industry, we have an article explaining the Motor Vehicle Owner’s Right to Repair Act.

STAT: There are over 7 million vehicles on the road in the United States as of 2020. (source)

Tesla's Right to Repair -- FAQs

Can I fix my own Tesla?

Anyone can attempt to fix their vehicle, but many necessary resources for basic repairs are walled off.

What are other brands affected by the Right to Repair movement?

The movement touches most industries. For example, major consumer electronics brands like Apple, Google, Sony, and Android face changes because of the campaign. Additionally, John Deere is in the middle of a lengthy legal battle over its unfair consumer repair policies.

Does making repairs to my Tesla void the consumer warranty?

If done exactly according to the Tesla service manual, then no. However, if installed incorrectly, this can void the warranty.
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