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Farm Equipment magazine reports:

According to an Oct. 24 filing from the Court of the Northern District of Illinois, 9 growers have filed a consolidated class action lawsuit against John Deere regarding their ability to repair their equipment.

The plaintiffs include Plum Ridge Farms, Colvin Farms, England Farms & Harvesting, Robbins Family Grain, Wilson Farms Land & Cattle, Hapka Farms, Eagle Lake Farms Partnership, Blake Johnson and Trinity Dale Wells.

Plum Ridge Farms, Hapka Farms, Eagle Lake Farms Partnership and Trinity Dale Wells have all been listed as plaintiffs in Farm Equipment's previous coverage of ongoing right-to-repair lawsuits.

One portion of this complaint that appears to be new (compared to previous filings) is a reference to Titan Machinery's most recent 10-K filing (filed April 1, 2022) with the SEC where the dealership addresses the impact right-to-repair legislation could have on its business.

The complaint states the following:

Dealers are rarely up front about their true motivations for obstructing access to comprehensive Repair Tools. However, Titan Machinery, the largest dealership group for Deere's next-largest competitor Case New Holland (which, like Deere also signed on to the "Statement of Principles" and has taken the position that comprehensive repair tools have been made sufficiently available), aptly summed up the threat that Dealerships face if required to provide Dealer-level Repair Tools. In its most recent 10-K Filing with the SEC, Titan explicitly identifies that "Enactment of 'right to repair' legislation could adversely affect the sales and profitability of our parts and service business.

The portion of Titan Machinery's 10-K filing the complaint references reads as follows:

Proposed state and federal legislation has been introduced that generally would require the manufacturers of products to provide the purchaser and/or independent repair technicians with documents, diagnostic software, and other information that would allow the equipment to be repaired without having it returned to the dealer for repair. Moreover, recent versions of the proposed legislation require that the manufacturer sell certain spare parts to users and third-party repair shops at the same price as offered by the manufacturer to its authorized dealers. To date, no form of legislation has passed in the states where we do business or at the federal level.

It is difficult to predict whether any form of this legislation will be enacted in any of the states where we do business or at the federal level. If enacted, however, any such legislation could have negative impacts on our parts and service business as follows:

Increased competition for repair services. We would become subject to additional competition from independent repair shops and/or other equipment dealers' repair shops, who would have greater access to manufacturer-furnished diagnostic tools as necessary to perform repair and maintenance services on CNH Industrial branded equipment.

To read the entire article click here.

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