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Farm Sues John Deere for Repair Rights

Original source: Pregressive Farmer

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LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- A North Dakota farm filed a class-action lawsuit on Wednesday, alleging John Deere is violating the Sherman Act in not making diagnostic software available to farmers who want to repair their own equipment.


The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern Illinois alleges John Deere has monopolized the repair service market for John Deere brand agricultural equipment with onboard central computers known as engine control units, or ECUs.


Forest River Farms in Forest River, North Dakota, asked for a trial by jury and wants the court to order John Deere to make the necessary software available to individual farmers and repair shops.


In addition, the lawsuit seeks damages for farmers who have paid for repairs from John Deere dealers beginning on Jan. 12, 2018, to the present.


The right to repair increasingly has become an issue in agriculture and other industries with state legislatures introducing bills in at least 32 states, including bills in 21 states in 2021.


Part of the problem is the equipment manufacturers currently will not allow farmers the hardware or software needed to diagnose a problem, much less repair it. So, dealers must send their teams out to the field to diagnose a problem and likely order parts, then come back out to make the repairs. There may be other complications with repairs.


Forest River Farms said in the complaint that it owns five John Deere tractors and two John Deere combines that use ECUs.


"During the class period, plaintiff Forest River Farms purchased Deere repair services in North Dakota from a John Deere dealership to diagnose and repair tractor and combine malfunctions and suffered antitrust injury as a result of defendant's conduct alleged herein," the lawsuit said.


"Farmers have traditionally had the ability to repair and maintain their own tractors as needed, or else have had the option to bring their tractors to an independent mechanic. However, in newer generations of its agricultural equipment, Deere has deliberately monopolized the market for repair and maintenance services of its agricultural equipment with ECUs by making crucial software and repair tools inaccessible to farmers and independent repair shops."


Photo by Rebecca Ritchie on Unsplash



... GO TO Farm Sues John Deere TO READ MORE

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