The European Commission announced a proposal on Wednesday that would require companies who manufacture products such as smartphones, tablets and vacuums to provide repairs for up-to 10 years after the purchase date. The warranty length would depend on the type of product.
The legislation has proposed that TV companies should provide repairs until 7 years after the date of purchase, whereas washing machine and washing dryer companies would have to provide repairs until 10 years after the date of purchase.
The regulation, if approved by The European Parliament and Council, would be applicable to any devices with repairability requirements in the EU. The EU is currently working on a proposal for right-to-repair requirements for smartphones and tablets.
At this stage, electronic companies must provide repairs or a replacement product up-to 2 years from the purchase date if there is a defect with the device. The new regulation would mandate that companies provide a free repair service as opposed to a replacement product, if the repair service is either cheaper than a replacement product or the same price.
The commission believes that over a period of 15 years, this legislation would save 18.5 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, 1.8 million tons of resources, and 3 million tons of waste.
Customers within the EU would also save $192.3 billion, and “sellers and producers” would save approximately $16.3 billion, as per the estimates laid out by The European Commission.
The legislation will also request that each European Union member nation put in place an “online matchmaking repair platform to connect consumers with repairers and sellers of refurbished goods in their area.”
Companies will also be asked to be more transparent about the nature of repairs required and also the timescale.
The commission also plans to set up a “European quality standard for repair services” to help consumers find “higher quality” repair shops. The standard would “be open to all repairers across the EU willing to commit to minimum quality standards, for example, based on duration or availability of products.”
The European Right to Repair coalition released a statement on Wednesday stating that the commission’s proposal “does not tackle the cost of repair.”
The coalition argued that vendors should be required to repair devices within two years of purchase, whether or not it’s cheaper for them to replace the item.
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