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U.S. FTC settles with Weber grills over 'right to repair'

A Weber grill is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as Weber Inc. celebrated their initial public offering (IPO) in Manhattan, New York City

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Weber-Stephen Products LLC, the maker of Weber grills, has agreed to scrap some warranty rules as part of a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over consumers' right to repair products that they purchase, the agency said on Thursday.

Under the settlement, Weber will no longer require consumers to use Weber parts as a condition of remaining under warranty and will add language to its warranty to that effect, the FTC said in a statement.

Weber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The FTC has pressed companies to drop rules that void warranties or otherwise punish customers who use independent repair shops or third-party parts to repair a wide range of products.

The agency made a similar deal with Harley-Davidson in June. It also settled with a company that made Westinghouse outdoor generators.

"Companies that use their warranties to illegally restrict consumers' right to repair should fix them now," said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement.

Weber, according to its website, is the "world's leading barbecue brand" and sells charcoal, gas and electric grills as well as smokers.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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