EU plan more rules for "right to repair"

Although the “right to repair” isn’t really a thing in Europe, the EU is planning some major changes to their electronic devices rules. (from c’t report in 2nd January issue)

Although the rules are still in committee, there are some significant changes planned:

  1. manufacturers must provide spare parts for electronics devices for at least 5 years.
  2. manufacturers must provide 3rd party repair centres with spare parts and technical manuals/information
  3. batteries must have 80% capacity after 1,000 recharge cycles or the battery must be easily replaced by the user (currently Apple, for instance, guarantees 80% capacity after 500 cycles)
  4. manufacturers must provide software updates for at least 2 years

Any 3rd party repair company “that has the relevant competence” must be able to purchase authorized parts from the manufacturer and their repairs will be legal/valid. How they prove that competence is not yet defined.

This mirrors similar rules already in place for white goods and televisions.

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Can anyone imagine a car or plane or steam shovel or indeed any largish mechanical device that was allowed to be completely broken and unfixable after only two years? As far as I am concerned, they should charge purchasers some fee (maybe 5-10% of the cost or a minimum of $20 to start) to be paid into something equivalent of an insurance pool to allow for every device to support ongoing minimal functioning and patching for at least 10 years and preferably 20 years and then the proper recycling of it thereafter.

Of note: I am operating a vehicle built in 2006 with very minor ongoing maintenance. And my fridge was purchased in 2008.

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Yes, this rule seems very stupid. I hope that they change it to match supplying replacement parts - what is the point of spare parts for 5 years, if the device is unsafe after 2?

Cars etc. are covered separately and need to have spare parts for 20 years and safety also has to be covered for at least 10 years, AFAIK. For example, even on a 10 or 15 year old car, they have to do a safety recall is something is found that is fundamental to the car and was there when it was built. Security holes in the software would be a recall for me.

My wife’s previous car was a 2004 Nissan and before that, a 2003 Renault. One fridge is 2008, the other 2016. But, as said in the original post, these are already covered under other rules. This is for electronic devices, like phones, cameras etc.

Edit: I find the rest of the rules are fairly good, although 5 years for spare parts is still relatively short.

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Definitely a good thing all round.
Companies must start doing more to keep electronics out of landfills.

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