Image: Weber

The Weber grill I received warned me that the use of parts that are not genuine will void the warranty.

It is not cool. Weber won't be doing it anymore because it's been illegal since 1975. Weber Stephen Products will have to tell customers via mail, email, websites, and apps that the exact opposite is true if it wants to stay in business.

Weber needs to say that using third-party parts won't void the warranty.

Weber will need to post a public notice on its website, mail a notice to the last decade's worth of customers, and keep records for the next five years if the FTC wants to look into it.

There is no mention of Weber having to help customers who have been denied warranty service. According to the FTC, Weber could have been charged with violations of the FTC Act and the Warranty Act.

A request for comment was not responded to by Weber.

Low-tech, low-stakes, settled-law right to repair

It is clear that this is not the same as the right to repair that most of today's advocates are talking about.

The modern right-to-repair fight is where advocates are pushing companies to make parts, repair manual, and software tools available to repair high tech gadgets. My Weber is dumb and easy to repair even though it's smart and intelligent. Weber is one of the companies that will happily sell you new ones, because almost every part on a standard Weber grill is designed to be replaced.

Since 1975, when the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act first hit the books, Weber has been violating the law. These words were in the original text.

No Warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name

The courts and the FTC have made it clear that you can't tell a customer they'll void their warranty if they use an unauthorized part. The warranty on that part has to be affected by the damage it is subjected to. The FTC is getting Weber back in line.

New York state became the first state in the country to pass a right-to-repair law for electronics. The beginnings of a right to repair has already been pushed by other countries.

I think you will be happy to hear that Jeremy Andrus, the CEO of Traeger, the company that makes the popular wood pellet smokers, will not add DRM to them.