Members of the European Parliament are preparing the ground for the proposal that the Commission will make this autumn for the right to reparation. By an almost unanimous vote (503 votes for against 3 against and 19 abstentions), they agreed on what such a right should be: taking into account the life cycle of a product, its design, the ethical principles of its production, standardization, informative labeling on repairability, the duties of manufacturers, the rights of consumers.
A device should be designed to be more durable and repairable” safely ”, while the parts and components should be easy to remove. Documentation on the repair and maintenance of the product must also be guaranteed.
But that’s not all: MEPs also want software updates to be reversible, without causing a drop in performance, especially on smartphones. This could cause problems for Apple, which very quickly prevents the installation of older versions of iOS: iOS 15.4, although not very old, is no longer signed by Apple. It’s iOS 15.4.1, or nothing.
This provision also poses a security concern, as operating system updates are also made to correct vulnerabilities. The text voted by Parliament nevertheless specifies that these old versions should be available ” for a minimum period of time “. Companies that do not comply with these measures could be accused of ” unfair trade practices “, according to the institution.
Among the measures envisaged by the deputies, we find the extension of the guarantees, the loan of a replacement device during the repair, information to consumers such as the estimated lifespan, a “digital passport” to label the products… In short , The Commission has plenty to draw from. The right to reparation was already the subject of a vote by the European representation in November 2020, within the framework of the Green Deal for Europe presented by the Commission in March of the same year.
Unlike the DMA, where the platforms will have to make great efforts to get in tune with the rules enacted by the European Union (in particular Apple), the manufacturers did not wait to open up, a little, to the right to the repair.
Samsung and Google have announced, a few days apart, programs to repair their devices at home, with original components, official documentation and specialized tools. Even Apple solved it with a Self Service Repair program unveiled last year (we are still waiting for the details).