What you need to know
- The European Union has approved new rules to facilitate easier repair of consumer products such as washing machines and smartphones.
- The provisional deal aims to make it convenient for consumers who want their devices to last longer without significant issues.
- Manufacturers are now obligated to add an extra 12 months to the warranty after fixing a product, according to a provisional deal approved by the European Council and Parliament.
The European Union has agreed on new rules to have consumer products like washing machines and smartphones repaired more easily, cutting down on throwing away broken electronic gadgets.
The European Council and Parliament have given the thumbs up to a provisional deal that beefs up right-to-repair laws. This means manufacturers now have to add an extra 12 months to the warranty after fixing a product (via Android Authority).
However, EU countries might stretch out that bonus warranty time. Currently, products in Europe get a two-year guarantee, and this could pump it up to a three-year deal.
The provisional deal will make it a breeze for consumers who want their devices to stick around without any major hiccups.
“With the agreement reached today, Europe makes a clear choice for repair instead of disposal,” said Alexia Bertrand, Belgian State Secretary for the Budget and Consumer Protection. “By Facilitating the repair of defective goods, we not only give a new life to our products, but also create good quality jobs, reduce our waste, limit our dependency on foreign raw materials and protect our environment.”
With these rules, you get to pick whether your device gets fixed or swapped during the two-year guarantee period. Manufacturers will need to provide details on spare parts right on their websites, and everyone in the repair business gets access to those parts at prices that won’t break the bank for consumers.
The right-to-repair rules apply to a bunch of products like smartphones, tablets, washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, screens, vacuum cleaners, and more. In the U.S., tech giants like Google are already making their latest flagship phones repairable, having recently made Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro parts available to end users via iFixit.
The EU is also making sure manufacturers can’t sneak in second-hand or 3D-printed parts from independent fixers. And the deal also makes sure sellers do the repairs in a decent timeframe and at a fair price.
Additionally, the provisional deal involves bringing in a standard repair information form. There’s no extra charge for the form, but repairers might slap on a fee if they need to run diagnostics on your device.
Finally, the EU is building an online repair platform, which will serve as a one-stop-shop that lists all the repair services around, not just in the bloc but in each member state.
The EU is crossing its fingers that the new rules will push consumers to get their gadgets fixed, giving them some added peace of mind for at least an extra year, maybe even longer.