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European parliament approves ‘right to repair’ law

Five hundred and eighty-four EU lawmakers voted in favour of the law, just three voted against it, while 14 abstained.

• April 23, 2024
European Parliament
European Parliament[Credit: DW]

The European Parliament approved a new law establishing consumers’ right to repair certain products, including smartphones, tablets, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, fridges, and monitors.

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 at a “reasonable price.”

They would also have to sell whatever spare parts they make to third-party repairers, likewise for a “reasonable price.”

The new rules are intended to help consumers and cut waste by making it easier for people to use products for longer and to replace them less often.

The European Commission proposed the first draft of the legislation in March 2023.

Five hundred and eighty-four EU lawmakers voted in favour of the law, just three voted against it, while 14 abstained.

EU law now requires manufacturers to repair or replace faulty goods for free within a two-year warranty.

The provisions approved on Monday would extend the warranty of any product repaired in this way by one year.

They would also require manufacturers to inform consumers of their right to choose repair over replacement when returning a product under warranty.

But the more significant changes concern out-of-warranty repairs, such as when products were bought more than two years ago or are damaged accidentally after purchase.

Manufacturers would be obliged to offer an out-of-warranty repair service, either for free or a “reasonable price,” the legislation says.

Manufacturers would not have to repair goods “where repair is impossible.”

Manufacturers now have to make any spare parts they produce available for purchase by third-party repairers, again for a “reasonable price.


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