EU Right to Repair Rules Force Companies to Fix Out-of-Warranty Devices

The European Commission has waved through new 'right to repair' legislation that aims to make it easier for consumers to get their broken devices fixed, even if products are out of warranty.

European Commisssion
The EU already requires companies to offer a two-year minimum warranty on common household appliances and electronics, such as smartphones, TVs, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners, but the new rules impose additional requirements.

According to the legislation, if a consumer chooses to have their device repaired under warranty, the warranty must be extended by a year. Consumers may also borrow a device while theirs is being repaired, and if it cannot be fixed, they have the right to opt for a refurbished unit as an alternative.

When a product's warranty expires, companies are still required to repair devices at a "reasonable price," so as not to intentionally discourage consumers from repairing them. Manufacturers will also be prohibited from using "hardware or software related barriers to repair," including preventing the use of second-hand, compatible, and 3D-printed spare parts by independent repairers as long as they conform to EU laws.

Additionally, manufacturers will be unable to refuse to repair a product solely for economic reasons or because it was previously repaired by someone else. Companies will be required to publish information about their repair services, including indicative prices of the most common repairs.

"Consumers' right to repair products will now become a reality," said European Parliament rapporteur René Repasi. "It will be easier and cheaper to repair instead of purchase new, expensive items. This is a significant achievement for Parliament and its commitment to empower consumers in the fight against climate change. The new legislation extends legal guarantees by 12 months when opting for repair, gives better access to spare parts and ensures easier, cheaper and faster repair."

The legislation will come into effect after formal approval by the Council, with the directive set to activate 20 days after its publication.

Europe's Right to Repair group welcomed the legislation, calling it "a step in the right direction," but said "the scope of products covered remains very narrow," and would introduce loopholes. The coalition noted that the rules only cover consumer products, and not anything purchased by businesses or industrial goods. It also criticized the lack of guidance on what constituted a "reasonable price" for spare parts.

Apple is likely to be impacted by the legislation, especially with regard to its controversial "parts pairing" requirement that prevents third-party replacements of certain device components. Currently, if an iPhone part is replaced with a like-for-like replacement by an unofficial third party, it may not be recognised by the iPhone's system software. The wording of the new EU rules suggests this will no longer be allowed.

Meanwhile in the U.S., more than two-dozen states are working on individual right-to-repair legislation. California's Right to Repair Act will become law this July, requiring manufacturers to make repair materials available for all electronics and appliances that cost $50 or more.

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Top Rated Comments

T'hain Esh Kelch Avatar
5 weeks ago
This is awesome, and will be a very good step away from the buy-and-throw-away-culture. Good job EU, again.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macusercom Avatar
5 weeks ago

this will cost companies extra $$$ for each model they release.

and I'm sure companies will eat the costs and totally not charge more to customers for every new product they release.

why stop there? go for free 10 year warranty for all yeah!! make companies pay for everything! throw in free accidental damage coverage too!! let's gooooo

you just played yourselves. ?
Just my two cents: what is preventing companies from doing that already while still cashing in on expensive repairs and people opting to buy a new device instead of repairing it?

The longer the warranty lasts, the less likely a manufacturer chooses to use bad parts. The first lightbulb works since 1901. LEDs last 50k+ hours yet for some reason even the Philips ones die after 1-2 years (max. 17.5k hours if they ran continuously which they don't)
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bLackjackj Avatar
5 weeks ago

this will cost companies extra $$$ for each model they release.
Stop spreading mis-information.

Australia has had min 2 year standard warranties for a long time. Also any device needs to last for as long as is expected. For example, a TV should last up to 10 years. It's called consumer rights. You are already paying through the nose for tech and if a company is selling you a product, they should have quality and repairability built into the price.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Edx09 Avatar
5 weeks ago

this will cost companies extra $$$ for each model they release.

and I'm sure companies will eat the costs and totally not charge more to customers for every new product they release.

why stop there? go for free 10 year warranty for all yeah!! make companies pay for everything! throw in free accidental damage coverage too!! let's gooooo

you just played yourselves. ?
The phones will get more expensive in EU, but not by as much as is the gain. If you compare the iPhone price now (EU vs US), the latter is cheaper because it only comes with a one year warranty. But what you pay more in the EU for effectively the second year warranty is a good deal when compared to the extended warranty sold by Apple. And ultimately the competition won’t disappear so the idea that Apple will charge disproportionally is just Apple PR and government engagement guys here fuming for not doing their job well in the first place.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The-Real-Deal82 Avatar
5 weeks ago

this will cost companies extra $$$ for each model they release.

and I'm sure companies will eat the costs and totally not charge more to customers for every new product they release.

why stop there? go for free 10 year warranty for all yeah!! make companies pay for everything! throw in free accidental damage coverage too!! let's gooooo

you just played yourselves. ?
It is a reasonable change I think and prevents companies stopping the owners of their products getting devices repaired at non OEM sources.

If Apple pass on silly costs when their products are already eye wateringly expensive, I simply won't buy them. It has to be a measured response as Apple would ultimately be the loser if they price consumers out.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
akbarali.ch Avatar
5 weeks ago
Its important to provide service and/or parts at reasonable rates.

My ipad 6 32gb went in boot loop

Apple gave me diagnose report - We tried updaing the ipad with a mac and were unsuccessful, we are going for device replacement out of warranty.

For this stupid diagnosing they charged me Rs.900
Device replacement cost for ipad 6 32gb Rs.26500.
The new ipad9 64gb from Amanzon cost Rs. 29000 (without using any card discount)

It doesn't anywhere resonable to get it repaird, even if they are ready to repair (in their terms - device remplacement)

Edit: Just to add to the above note. I really like ipads they are really awesome device and must have in everyhouse. But i have decided not buy ipad anymore just because it cannot be repaired and/or repair cost are absurd.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)