The 'Right to Repair' Movement Is Gaining Ground and Could Hit Manufacturers Hard
European Union member states are this week voting on dishwasher efficiency and repair. If that sounds as dull as, well, dishwater, then you need to consider the last time your own dishwasher broke. With the right rules in place, it would be a cheap and easy fix. However, you’re not allowed to fiddle with the machine because it would invalidate the warranty. So, instead, you go and buy a new model and throw the old one on the dump.
While that’s good for manufacturers, it is increasingly becoming a problem for consumers. In the EU and at least 18 U.S. states, regulators are starting to listen and considering proposals that address the impact of planned obsolescence by making household goods sturdier and easier to mend, reports the BBC.
This week’s dishwasher vote was just one of a series revising the 2009 Ecodesign Directive, which governs everything from how much energy a vacuum cleaner sold in the EU can use to how many household appliances and electronics are recycled. Put together, the EU is looking at the manufacturing rules surrounding everything from lighting to televisions and large home appliances, such as washing machines and fridges.