The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a complaint against Weber today for illegally restricting customers’ right to repair their grills. The complaint charges that terms in Weber’s warranty voided it if customers used third-party parts on their grills. Weber is being ordered to remove the illegal terms from its warranty and send and post notices informing customers of the updates.
If Weber violates those terms they are subject to penalties of up to $46,517 per violation in federal court.
This is the FTC’s third right-to-repair lawsuit in as many weeks. Companies that use their warranties to illegally restrict consumers’ right to repair should fix them now.Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection
The right to repair products is covered by the Moss Warranty Act, which prohibits a company from requiring use of a brand name article or service, unless it’s free.
The FTC alleges in their complaint that Weber imposed illegal warranty terms that harm consumers and competition in multiple ways, including the following.
- Restricting consumers’ choices by implying that a condition of maintaining warranty coverage was consumers had to use Weber’s parts.
- Costing consumers more money by forcing them to use potentially more expensive Weber branded parts.
- Undercutting independent businesses by not allowing repairers or parts manufacturers to compete on a level playing field.
- Reducing resiliency by holding consumers at the mercy of Weber’s supply chain for parts. This leads to possible restrictions on getting parts when consumers need them and could lead to more waste from grills not being fixed.