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EU lawmakers approve ‘right to repair’ law

In News, World
April 23, 2024

Under new policy, consumers will be able to claim free or reasonably priced repairs even after the warranty expires.

The European Parliament has approved rules to give consumers the right to have certain worn-out products repaired by producers, to cut waste and make goods last longer.

The law – which still needs final approval from European Union member states – would require manufacturers to repair goods out of warranty wherever possible, either for free or a “reasonable price.”

It would oblige manufacturers to offer repairs for fridges, vacuum cleaners, televisions, washing machines and other goods deemed “repairable” under EU law and sold within the bloc.

The Parliament approved the law with a large majority of 584 votes in favour, three against, and 14 abstentions on Tuesday.

Consumers will gain the right to choose either a repair or a replacement for faulty products while the product is still under guarantee. If a product is repaired, its guarantee would be extended by 12 months.

After the guarantee has expired, consumers can still claim a repair, for free, or at a “reasonable” price, defined as one that considers costs for spare parts and labour, but does not disincentivise choosing a repair over throwing away the product.

The EU would also ban manufacturers from using software or hardware that obstructs repairs. National governments would be able to impose penalties on companies that do not comply.

The European Commission said 35 million tonnes of waste and 260 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions are generated each year, as a result of still-usable consumer goods being thrown away.

“It will be easier and cheaper to repair instead of purchase new, expensive items,” German lawmaker Rene Repasi said.

“This is a significant achievement for Parliament and its commitment to empower consumers in the fight against climate change,” he added.

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