The European Parliament voted Tuesday to approve a strong right-to-repair proposal. It aims to make consumer electronic goods more repairable, with companies required to prioritize repairability over replacement.
The draft legislation still needs to go through negotiations between the Parliament and the Council before it can go into effect.
EU’s strong right-to-repair law can have a big impact
The proposed right-to-repair law requires companies to offer replacement devices to users during the repair period. If a product cannot be repaired, the user will be provided a refurbished product as a replacement. Additionally, manufacturers will have to provide an additional year of guarantee on the fixed device.
The European Union’s right-to-repair legislation states companies must also offer repair services for products outside of the warranty period. It wants manufacturers to make repairs a more attractive option instead of getting a replacement product. This will not only help the devices to last longer but also be more friendly towards the environment.
More importantly, as iFixit notes, the EU’s draft law prevents parts pairing. Apple notoriously uses this software block to discourage iPhone users from getting their devices repaired by third-party shops.
EU wants companies to incentivize repairs
The proposed EU law includes ten consumer goods categories, including washing machines, TVs, smartphones, vacuum cleaners, and even bicycles.
Besides forcing manufacturers to adopt and support the right to repair, the EU wants to provide customers with alternative repair options. It wants to ensure that independent repair shops can access all repair components, tools and guides at a fair price. This should make repairs much more affordable while ensuring the OEM does not have a monopoly over it.
To incentivize repairs, the legislation states offer users vouchers and other benefits using the national repair funds.
Apple operates a Self Service Repair program that allows users to order replacement parts and tools for iPhones and Macs. However, it benefits the company itself more than consumers with its pricing. A strong right-to-repair law will change this and ensure companies cannot overcharge customers on the pretext of repairing their devices.
The US is also working on a right-to-repair bill, with Apple expressing its support during a White House event in October.