iFixit Calls on FTC to Set Stricter Right to Repair Rules

By Julie Clover

Popular repair site iFixit today sent a petition to the US Federal Trade Commission calling for new Right to Repair rules that will protect the interests of consumers.

The iFixit petition calls attention to some “blocks” installed by manufacturers that prevent customers and independent repair shops from repairing their electronics, such as using proprietary screws or repairs that require repair. software authentication is the method Apple uses. iFixit wants the Federal Trade Commission to consider the following rules:

  • Consumable components must be replaceable and readily accessible throughout the life of the product.
  • Components that break frequently must be replaceable and easily replaceable. available as replacement parts.
  • Consumers should be able to take damaged products to a repair facility of their choice or perform repairs themselves.
  • When a manufacturer discontinues support for a product, its key features should remain unchanged , and the independent repair shop must be able to continue repairs.
  • Identical components of two identical devices should be interchangeable without intervention by the manufacturer. (This does not apply to Apple devices.)
  • Independent repair shops should not be required to disclose customers' personal information to the manufacturer.

In France, Right to Repair laws require that Manufacturers have been providing a device's repairability rating, which gives an idea of ​​how difficult or easy it is to repair, and iFixit argues that the Federal Trade Commission should adopt a similar policy in the United States.

“Think about it. This is a plea to FTC to lend a hand,” iFixit said in a blog post about the petition. The site acknowledges that developing and enforcing any rule could take years, but it hopes the FTC will consider the request.

Apple in August backed California's Right to Repair law, drawing praise from iFixit, but there is currently no equivalent federal Right to Repair In October, Apple backed the idea of ​​a nationwide Right to Repair law that would “balance repairability with product integrity, usability and physical safety.”

Apple supported the California law, in part, because it requires parts to be sourced from the manufacturer and does not allow the use of parts from third-party sources. Notably, California law does not include some of the specific provisions that iFixit proposes, such as the ability to replace components of two identical devices or the ability to perform repairs without tying components to the device's IMEI.

While iFixit praised Apple for its support California's Right to Repair law, the site downgraded the iPhone 14's repairability rating from 7/10 to 4/10 in September due to Apple tying repair parts to a specific device, requiring inspection.

Tags: iFixit, Right to Repair repair[ 98 comments ]

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