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EU Commission’s proposed law would require tech manufacturers to provide free repairs for up to 10 years

Proposed law has roots in wanting to reduce needless device replacements

Last week the European Commission made a proposal that, if approved by European Parliament and Council, would require electronics manufacturers to repair their devices for free (if cheaper than providing a replacement) for a minimum of five to ten years (depending on device type) after the date of purchase.

Currently the EU requires manufacturers and vendors to provide free repair or replacement of defective products up to two years after purchase. The proposed law would have long-lasting consequences throughout the electronics industry, and would affect everything from home appliances to data storage. The proposal is motivated by wanting to have a positive affect on the environment by reducing the number of replaced devices, and therefore reduce waste and carbon emissions from the replacement process, as well as establish a “European quality standard for repair services.”

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The European Commission’s announcement of the proposal said, in part, “Over the last decades, replacement has often been prioritized over repair whenever products become defective, and insufficient incentives have been given to consumers to repair their goods when the legal guarantee expires. The proposal will make it easier and more cost-effective for consumers to repair as opposed to replace goods.”

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