Right to repair, debate in the US Senate: wider rules, not just for gadgets

Thanks to the chip crisis that from the pandemic onwards has reduced the availability of electronic goods, cars, industrial vehicles, and any other object that uses one or more semiconductors, the battle for the right to redress it has taken on more relevance than it had already acquired over time, given that the theme has been at the center of the news for years now.

The sensitivity around the issue has grown, and despite the opposition of some “big” who would like to prevent customers from DIY repairs citing the most disparate reasons, even rather reluctant companies like Apple, in the end, have had to give up. Many Western governments are pushing for the right to reparation is provided for by law, and in the last few hours the US is moving in a concrete way.


In fact, yesterday the Fair Repair Act he landed in the Senate american to be discussed.

It doesn’t matter whether you own a smartphone or a tractor, the law will help all consumers – said Ben Luj├ín, one of the senators who signed the bill. When customers can’t get devices and equipment repaired cost-effectively, consumers, farmers, or a small business owner are paying the bill. Too many manufacturers have made it nearly impossible to repair products or have the customer go to third party repairers. The Fair Repair Act combats corporate greed and takes a vital step in consumer protection. I can’t wait for it to be converted into law.

That during the design some manufacturers do not pay the necessary attention to ensure that the asset can be easily dismantled and repaired is well known. It has been evident for years from the various teardowns of realities such as iFixit, or from other reports that have compared some of the best-known manufacturers: recently the US Pirg has dealt with it, with an analysis that has decreed the lack of commitment of Apple with iPhone and MacBook, and which on the contrary highlighted how Dell and Motorola (but not only) are more attentive to the repairability of products.

Interesting also the statement by Cynthia Lummis, one of the signatories of the Fair Repair Act:

The pandemic and the geopolitical conflict have affected the supply of components for various sectors. This he did increase the cost of electronic equipment and repairs borne by consumers and companies […]. Manufacturers should provide tools, parts and product documentation to speed repairs and reduce costs. I am proud to support the Fair Repair Act to give consumers, third party repairers and small businesses what they need to break free from the monopoly of certified repairs in everything from technology to agricultural equipment to automobiles.


In Europe a strong Community position is still lacking. It goes on, but with little consistency. For the moment, concrete acts have arrived in no particular order on the initiative of individual countries, such as the France, who introduced some labels which must indicate the repairability of electronic products, or Germany, which nevertheless did not go beyond the words: “we support strict environmental regulations for smartphones and tablets”, obliging – it is the position of Berlin – manufacturers to guarantee spare parts and updates security for seven years.

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