EU Right to Repair Detail


#1

Hi - is there anyone or anywhere that explains in detail the right to repair law passed recently by Eu? I’ve seen general overviews, and tried to find the detail on Eu website with no luck. In particular I’m interested to understand what a ‘professional fixer’ is in the context of restricting manuals and parts. Does this mean the public won’t have access? Surely this will be easy to navigate around?

Am new to the forum so apologies in advance if this answer exists elsewhere!


#2

Hi Gavin,

This is a great question. My understanding is that the final text of this Ecodesign regulation isn’t in the public domain yet and is currently hovering somewhere between the EU commission and parliament. That said, I’m no expert on the intricacies of EU bureaucracy, so I could easily be wrong!

@ugo could probably add more detail & accuracy to this.

For a sense of what’s in there, EEB, ECOS and Cool Products did release a brief analysis of changes to the draft regulation (PDF) during the negotiation period (though I don’t believe this is the final text).


#3

Hi @Gavin_Conway,

The regulations will be effective as of 2021 across all of the EU - we don’t know yet what exactly will happen in the UK.
The reason they’re not yet public is that they’re currently going through a final scrutiny from the EU parliament, which won’t however result in any change.

As you wrote, the difference between “professional repairer” and everyone else is very problematic - it means that manufacturers won’t be required to provide (most) spare parts and all technical repair manuals to Restarters, DIY repairers. This won’t restrict third party suppliers to provide parts, but it means that free access to all repair manuals for everyone - which is what we think is needed - is still far from reality.

You’ve probably already seen it, but we’re giving some examples and our analysis of the new regulation here:

The draft regulation posted by @james is now partly misleading, as the text has been improved during the final negotiations.


#4

Thanks @james. This document is a really helpful. @ugo - welcome any insight you can add on what the final text is and qualifying criteria for a ‘professional fixer’.

It seems that this legislation is heading down the same path as the EU’s 2009 Motor Car Block Exemption equivalent where only those in the motor trade can access technical and repair data. Being someone who would like to fix my car, but blocked from even replacing a light bulb I do hope this is not the case!

Thanks again
Gavin


#5

Thanks @ugo - seems you replied with all the answers just as I was replying to James. Perfect - except for the dreaded answer to my question…:frowning:

the regulations also grant producers the final say on who qualifies as “professional” for member states without a registry listing all professional repairers.


#6

Hi @Gavin_Conway,

Obviously at the bare minimum there will need to be pressure on member states to create registries for professional repairers, to avoid as much as possible situations when the manufacturer would have the last word.

As you mentioned the EU legislation on cars, there’s actually part of the approach about cars that would be positive if applied to electronics in the future. In Regulation EC715/2007 on the availability of vehicle repair and maintenance information, there is a reference to the “independent operator” - as opposed to the “professional repairer” - which also includes: publishers of technical information, not-for-profit repair initiatives, operators offering training for repairers. If applied to electronics, it would give Restarters access to repair manuals - which is a start.

This said, it’s clear that the EU regulations recently approved are just a first step in bringing a real, and full, right to repair in legislation.


#7

I wouldn’t be so upbeat if its implemented akin to the auto market. It’s impossible as a private individual to get access to the official repair manuals and then you have the issue over accessing the ECU units. But as you said its a good start! Thanks again for your invaluable insight and pointing me in the right direction.


#8

This may be of interest to some of you , about 2 years back the bearing went in my washing machine , being more than competent at mechanical repairs , I set about replacing the bearings ,only to find the drum had been glued together , quick scan of youtube and I soon found out the drum was exactly the same as one that should be bolted together including the bolt holes , it was an easy enough task to hacksaw through the glue and replace the bearings , the original seal was still in it’s seat so I just bolted back together and it all worked fine , It was obvious to me the reason it had been glued , and it irritated me that much to think of the waste and expense caused by an obvious ploy to sell more machines that I wrote to my MP David Tredinnick , he promised to look into the matter and fair enough that’s just what he did , I wasn’t the only one to complain there had been a few domestic appliance repairers who had also complained , Tredinnick took the complaint to the relevant Govt department and the govt had been in consultation with manufacturers and had been fobbed off with tales of leaking drums . so upshot is .a new labelling system . only the top of the range machines will have repairable bearings , and repairable ones will carry an extra price tag , Don’t be put off though handful of nuts and bolts and a hacksaw and even the budget ones can be repaired


#9

Thanks @simon,
There is indeed a possibility that a new labelling system could help differentiate between more and less repairable machines - there is work currently ongoing at EU level on a repairability scoring which could in the future become part of an improved labelling, focusing on repairability as well as energy efficiency of the washing machine (or of other products too).

While fixing a sealed drum might not be a safe procedure for most people, this DIY solution is evidence that there isn’t really a reason for the current unrepairable design. We need to keep campaigning for more repairable products, and a return to better product design. We’ll be talking about this in more detail with an interview with washing machine repairer Steve the Spin Doctor in the next episode of Restart Radio, on Resonance FM on 12 February, and online the next day.


#10

@simon - How old was your washing machine? You should have the right to repair but I also think manufacturers should be built to last not built to fail. There is the technology :slight_smile: just unfortunately not the will :frowning:


#11

Washing ,machine was 4 years old . my previous machine was an hotpoint 95132 that lasted 30 years , bit like Triggers brush though , new programmer several sets of brushes , water pump and a couple of drum bearings .

A friend of mine was a domestic appliance engineer ,but he gave up because not only were the machines largely unrepairable ,but some of the manufacturers were actually fitting chips that failed after a certain amount of uses and could
not be replaced , In the same way Inkjet printers fail with the “ parts in this machine have reached the end of service fault “ nothing but a swizz , another mate sells printers , he took one out of the box to demonstrate to somebody ,that person decided
they wanted a different one , so he reboxed it ,put it back on the shelf where it sat for 4 years , then somebody bought it brought it back the same day because it had the fault ,

parts in this printer need service !!!

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