European Parliament Votes to Support Right to Repair

The European Parliament has this week voted to support the recommendations of the EU Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection on the "Right to Repair," including a system of mandatory labelling on consumer electronics to provide explicit information on the repairability and lifespan of products (via iFixit).

european parliament

The motion will compel the EU Commission to "develop and introduce mandatory labeling, to provide clear, immediately visible and easy-to-understand information to consumers on the estimated lifetime and reparability of a product at the time of purchase." This includes a repair score, akin to the repairability scores assigned by iFixit, being clearly shown on goods at the point of purchase. France is already planning to roll out repairability ratings for smartphones, laptops, and other products from January 2021.

"By adopting this report, the European Parliament sent a clear message: harmonized mandatory labeling indicating durability and tackling premature obsolescence at EU level is the way forward," said French MEP David Cormand.

According to a recent EU survey of public opinion, 77 percent of EU citizens would rather repair their devices than replace them and 79 percent think that manufacturers should be legally obliged to facilitate the repair of digital devices or the replacement of their individual parts.

"We hope this will translate into swift action to bring a mandatory repairability score index for all electricals and electronic products sold across the EU, to help consumers to shop with confidence," said Ugo Vallauri, Co-Founder of the Restart Project and the European Right to Repair Campaign

Apple has repeatedly been criticized for disproportionate repair prices, such as the $79 fee to service the $99 HomePod mini, and arbitrary limits on repairs, such as barring repair of the iPhone 12's camera without access to Apple's proprietary cloud-linked System Configuration app.

Yesterday, the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee published a report chastising Apple for contributing to a "throwaway culture" of "short-lived products."

The EU motion is likely to encourage a range of repair-friendly policies and product disclosures, but this will be contingent on the European Commission legislating to bring them into effect.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

justperry Avatar
12 months ago
Apple should stand behind its products with a minimum 3 year warranty, i
I find it absurd that a giant company like Apple has only a 1 year warranty.

I applaud the EU for this, lots of things are glued in now, nearly impossible to repair, and then there are absurd RAM prices, RAM should be removable and replaceable by the user.
Score: 77 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DanielDD Avatar
12 months ago

Stupid. If you want to repair stuff, get a Sony PC tower. That ship has sailed. If you want the best tech, you have to concede your “right” to take it apart and screw it up. If you want the latest tech and the right to take it apart and fix it, build a time machine and go back to 1990.
Not stupid. Read the bill. It does not require any manufacturer to sell repairable products or the toolkits to repair them. It does require labelling products according to repairability score. This is good. Access to consistent and transparent information is good for the consumer.
This labelling thing is not new. We also have it, for instance, for energy efficiency ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_energy_label'), or for nutritional information ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrition_facts_label'). What is wrong with this? You can choose to ignore them. You can choose to make more informed decisions.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeanL Avatar
12 months ago

"According to a recent EU survey of public opinion, 77 percent of EU citizens would rather repair their devices than replace them"

According to my own survey of EU public opinion, 77 percent are clueless about modern electronics. Apparently they'd rather go back to the days of cell phones the size of shoe boxes.
You're the perfect example of why this law needs to exist.
The fact that you cannot imagine phones that are not the size of shoe boxes but still highly repairable shows that Apple's brainwashing has been successful.
What you probably do not understand is that repairability is not in the economic interests of companies like Apple, so of course they'll make you believe that modern phones and repairability are mutually exclusive when they aren't...
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NightFox Avatar
12 months ago

Stupid. If you want to repair stuff, get a Sony PC tower. That ship has sailed. If you want the best tech, you have to concede your “right” to take it apart and screw it up. If you want the latest tech and the right to take it apart and fix it, build a time machine and go back to 1990.
But don't you think there's benefits to having a system whereby consumers would be able to know in advance how repairable products will be to allow them to make informed choices, as is being suggested here?

This isn't just targetted at Apple or phones - if I buy a new washing machine, I know that there's certain components that will probably wear out after a few years. Having this sort of information would mean I could choose a washing machine that I knew I could easily replace those parts on rather than end up with one with a sealed unit that cost more to replace than a new machine.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeoStructural Avatar
12 months ago

Stupid. If you want to repair stuff, get a Sony PC tower. That ship has sailed. If you want the best tech, you have to concede your “right” to take it apart and screw it up. If you want the latest tech and the right to take it apart and fix it, build a time machine and go back to 1990.
The first word of your post applies perfectly to your line of thought.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Manzanito Avatar
12 months ago

"According to a recent EU survey of public opinion, 77 percent of EU citizens would rather repair their devices than replace them"

According to my own survey of EU public opinion, 77 percent are clueless about modern electronics. Apparently they'd rather go back to the days of cell phones the size of shoe boxes.
You are aware this is not about phones only, right?
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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