John Deere, reading own fine print, concedes right to some repair

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/06/07/john-deere-reading-own-fine-print-concedes-right-to-some-repair.html

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There’s a principal in real property law (real estate) that says you have the right to the “quiet enjoyment” of your property. This means a lot of different things, but one thing it means is that there are limits to have much others can interfere with your use of the land. There should be a similar principal in personal property, but I’m not aware of one. I can understand a company doing things like voiding a warranty if you modify or repair the item yourself, or have an unauthorized third party modify or repair the item. But the practice of bricking the thing so it becomes completely unusable should violate some basic principal of your rights as an owner of that thing, whatever it is. Frankly, we shouldn’t need a law to do that. That should just come along with your rights as an owner of personal property. That you own the thing and can do with it what you want.

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Hang on a minute, why are they worried about this one specific item?

That suggests to me (no proof, mind you) that we might soon discover that John Deere has pulled a Volkswagen with its emissions testing.

I’d bet a :beer:

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Ahhhh yes, John Deere. Been getting a lot of ink, these past few years.

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I’m still somewhat confused about where the issues around this falls and how most, if not all manufactures today, aren’t doing exactly the same thing as John Deere. The major difference I can see between John Deere and the automotive industry, is that most (if not all) auto manufactures sell diagnostic tools. They aren’t cheap and you may be paying a subscription to even use them, so in terms of DIY is it even worth it?

This 2015 Wired article talks about a scenario of the editor trying to fix a friends tractor. I’m not sure what a canbus reader and alligator clips were going to do to help him fix a broken sensor. It is likely there for a reason or multiple reasons and without knowing exactly what all disabling it might do, bypassing it seems rather foolish. Given the context of the story I’m not sure why the farmer didn’t have an extra on hand. That article makes the case for why the emissions argument isn’t complete BS. If you had the option to just disable a pressure sensor, why not the DEF injector, O2 sensor, or any engine related sensor that wasn’t working correctly - but not directly needed to run the machine?

I can’t reprogram my car, my washing machine, my air conditioner, or basically anything I didn’t load the software on myself. I have a 6 year old phone that’s becoming obsolete, not because of the hardware, but because there is no OEM support for newer versions of Android.

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