Ag Informer – Deer & Co. Responds to “Right to Repair” lawsuits

Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA) reports:

Deere & Co. has asked a federal court to transfer a collection of right-to-repair lawsuits against it to Illinois.

The first case was filed in Illinois by a farm based in North Dakota. Since then, similar lawsuits have been filed in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Alabama, as well as two additional cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern Illinois, DTN recently reported.

The cases allege the company has monopolized the repair service market for Deere equipment with onboard central computers known as engine control units, or ECUs. The suits seek damages for farmers who paid for repairs from Deere dealers beginning on Jan. 12, 2018, to the present, DTN reported.

Deere’s motion seeking the transfer of these cases does not include a class-
action suit filed in Minnesota, according to DTN.

In related news, several farmer organizations from throughout the U.S. recently filed a 42-page complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Deere, claiming the tractor maker has violated federal anti-trust and consumer protection laws.

The National Farmers Union and other state and national organizations argued that Deere is profiting by requiring special parts and Deere-approved technicians to repair their machines, reported KWQC.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund and the Right-to-Repair campaign also recently released a report that took aim at Deere and other major manufacturers for making it increasingly difficult for farmers to fix their own equipment.

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