In the EU, seeking the right to repair major household appliances
Source: Schraube locker !?
European activists of the “right to repair” movement decided to start with refrigerators. They managed to collect more than 100 thousand signatures under the relevant document and even achieve a vote in Brussels on the change of legislation relating to the repair of household appliances.
The main task of European activists now is to achieve such changes so that home appliances can be repaired on their own, using parts provided by manufacturers. The traditional practice of manufacturers not only household appliances, but also phones - the provision of specialized software and spare parts to certified service centers. The latter pay producers and everyone is happy. All, except, perhaps, consumers.
And one more thing - in the near future, household appliances will be designed in such a way that it can be repaired using conventional tools, rather than specialized proprietary gadgets. Of course, no one says that the same refrigerator will be able to repair a person without technical skills. But repair and service will be much easier.
One of the most active groups of supporters of the “right to repair” is the organization “Schraube locker !?” from Germany. It was she who managed to collect 100 thousand signatures, which are discussed above. A positive vote for the “right to repair” is a small but important achievement of the activists.
On Habré more than once and not two wrote about the "right to repair", but usually it was about the USA, Apple technology and Tesla electric cars. Now the Europeans began to be active, too, who were also tired of the constant acceleration of the replacement cycle for quickly breaking new equipment. Planned obsolescence is no longer a conspiracy theory, but a practically proven fact. Light bulbs, washing machines, computers - all this breaks down almost immediately after the expiration of the warranty, and in some cases even earlier.
In many countries of Western Europe, broken equipment is more likely to be disposed of and will buy a new one than to fix it. But the German group “Schraube locker !?” decided to change this established practice and adjust the processes of repair and maintenance of household appliances. Now activists are planning to initiate a vote for the "right to repair" lighting equipment, and then washing machines.
In Eastern Europe, the repair culture is well developed, the same applies to the United States. But The problem is that spare parts for the repair of equipment are not enough - as already mentioned, manufacturers simply do not provide the necessary spare parts. The new European law obliges manufacturers to provide the main parts and tools for customers. In addition, refrigerators will be made so that they are easier to disassemble - apparently, we are talking about a modular structure. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear how this will look in practice.
Practically in all countries of Europe there are laws that prohibit manufacturers from introducing planned equipment obsolescence. But companies, too, are no stupid - in many cases, the planned obsolescence is, although its presence is almost impossible to prove.
In 2019, the Schraube locker !? group hopes to join forces with other groups from around the world, including iFixit - a huge community of repairmen from the US, who assert their right to repair any type of equipment, from cars to electronics.
Now this community defends not only the rights of service centers repairing electronic devices, but also the rights of farmers who do not have the right to repair the tractor they bought. The founder of the iFixit community, Kyle Wine (Kyle Wiens) believes that any buyer of equipment should have the right to repair their own equipment.
“I am not a lawyer. I am a master in repairing my occupation and an expert in developing software for education. I repair things - especially those related to computer equipment ... When my farmer friend wants to know if there is a way to “set up” the protected software of his tractor, I know that this is wrong, ”says Vine.