EU’s new right-to-repair rules force companies to repair out-of-warranty devices

European Union a right to repair directive this will make it easier for consumers to repair their devices. The new rules extend product warranties if they break under warranty by forcing manufacturers to repair devices that are no longer covered. The law still needs to be approved by member states.

Devices sold in Europe already have a minimum two-year warranty, but new regulations impose additional requirements. If the device is repaired under warranty, the customer should be given the choice between replacement or repair. If they choose the latter, the warranty will be extended by one year.

After it expires, companies are still required to repair “general household products” that can be repaired under EU law, such as smartphones, TVs and certain household appliances (the list of appliances may expand over time). The consumer can also borrow the device while it is being repaired or alternatively opt for a refurbished unit if it cannot be repaired.

The EU says repairs must be offered at a “reasonable” price so that “consumers are not deliberately put off”. Manufacturers must provide spare parts and tools and must not attempt to avoid repairs by using “contractual clauses, hardware or software techniques”. The latter, although not reported, can make it difficult for companies to work with sunset devices suspension of future updates.

In addition, manufacturers cannot stop the use of second-hand, original, compatible or 3D-printed spare parts by independent repairers as long as they comply with EU law. They must provide a website that shows repair prices, cannot refuse to repair a device that has been previously repaired by someone else, and cannot refuse to repair for economic reasons.

While welcoming the extended rules, the European Right to Repair group said it was missed opportunities. He would like to see the inclusion of more product categories, prioritization of repair over replacement, independent repairers’ right to access all spare parts/repair information and more. “Our coalition will continue to push for ambitious reform requirements … as well as work with members to implement the directive in each member state.”

In addition to helping consumers save money, right-to-repair regulations help reduce e-waste, CO2 pollution and more. The area is also currently a battleground in the US, with legislation being debated in about half of the states. of California right to repair law — which takes effect July 1 — forces manufacturers to keep spare parts, tools and repair manuals for seven years for smartphones and other devices priced above $100.

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