Under pressure of class-action lawsuits recently filed in five states, John Deere announced this week it would expand access to self-repair resources for customers and independent repair shops to purchase directly from John Deere through JohnDeereStore.com.

The move circumvents authorized dealers as “right-to-repair” advocates and independent repair shops have been pushing for the past few years amid their false claims that end users do not have access to repair and diagnostic tools to fix their farm equipment. Consistent with an industry Statement of Principles, equipment manufacturers agreed to make the tools widely available starting with model year 2021.

“Right-to-repair” misinformation campaigns have blanketed the country with proposed illegal tampering legislation including a federal “right-to-repair” bill now under consideration. To date none of these bills has passed.

Lawsuits falsely accuse Far West Equipment Dealers Association (FWEDA), the national Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) and other regional trade associations of being lobbyist groups for equipment manufacturers. Regional dealer associations represent equipment dealers not manufacturers. It is unclear how Deere’s decision will impact authorized dealers.

EDA responded, “Based upon our review of the lawsuits, the plaintiffs have made the incorrect assessment of the EDA and our members. The plaintiffs appear to conflate independent equipment dealers and their association with original equipment manufacturers, like John Deere.”

Deere will allow the purchase of Customer Service ADVISOR directly from John Deere starting in May. It has been readily available from dealerships until now.

“We hope John Deere customers are pleased about the expanded access to diagnostic information they will get with Customer Service ADVISOR available in the online store,” said Denver Caldwell, Director Aftermarket & Customer Support.

Additionally, in 2023, John Deere will release a new consumer solution featuring a mobile layout and the functionality to download software updates to select 4G John Deere Equipment.

Class-action lawsuits alleging end users cannot access tools and diagnostics have been filed in Alabama, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and multiple in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois.

The lawsuits target John Deere saying the company has “deliberately monopolized” the repair and maintenance market for their equipment “by making crucial software and repair tools inaccessible to farmers and independent repair shops.” Specifically, the plaintiffs allege John Deere violated sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The suits seek damages for farmers who have paid for repairs between January 12, 2018, and the present.

John Deere also faces a potential investigation from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as multiple farmer groups, including the National Farmers Union and the Iowa Farmers Union, petitioned the FTC to examine John Deere’s “right-to-repair” practices.

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