Fight to Repair Daily: Friday October 28, 2022

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Apple caves to new EU on USB-C in iPhones

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, has confirmed the iPhone will be making the switch to a USB-C port because “we have no choice.”

The European Union will require all phones, tablets, and cameras to use USB-C for charging before the end of 2024. Based on Apple’s typical release cycle for new iPhone models, it means the iPhone 16 will need to ship with a USB Type-C port, although Apple could decide to make the switch next year on the iPhone 15.

Joswiak told the Wall Street Journal he doesn’t believe a government being so “prescriptive” and enforcing a switch to USB-C for all devices was the right thing to do, and in fact he claims it will cause more electronic waste. However, when it comes to abiding by the new rules, Joswiak states, “obviously we’ll have to comply, we have no choice.” (PC Magazine)

Automakers say they can’t comply with Massachusetts right to repair law

The automotive right-to-repair law that won overwhelming approval from Massachusetts voters in a referendum nearly two years ago is still propped up on jacks in Boston federal court. And based on documents submitted to the court last week by two major automakers, it’ll be there for quite a while.

Cybersecurity executives for General Motors and Stellantis, the company that owns carmaker Chrysler, told the court that they’ve done nothing to prepare for complying with the law, because they can’t. Kevin Tierney, vice president of global cybersecurity for GM, said that “it remains my considered judgment that it is simply impossible to comply with the Data Access Law safely.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey contends that the carmakers are deliberately misreading the law to falsely argue that it contradicts federal auto safety regulations and to claim that obeying the law is technically impractical. “None of that is true,” said a filing from Healey’s office. (Boston Globe)

Other coverage:

Automakers claim they can’t comply with right to repair laws — The Truth About Cars

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FTC Approves Final Orders in Right-to-Repair Cases Against Harley-Davidson, MWE Investments, and Weber

After a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday approved final orders against motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, grill maker Weber-Stephen Products, and the manufacturer of Westinghouse outdoor power equipment, MWE Investments, for illegally restricting customers’ right to repair their purchased products.

In cases announced in June, the FTC alleged that Harley-Davidson and MWE Investments included terms in their warranties that claimed that the warranty would be void if customers used independent repairers or third-party parts, in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the FTC Act. In addition, Harley-Davidson allegedly failed to properly disclose all warranty terms in a single document, and instead directed consumers to visit a local dealership to fully understand the warranty. In July, the FTC announced a similar case alleging that Weber’s warranty illegally claimed that the use of aftermarket parts would void the company’s warranty on gas and electric grills.

The orders require the companies to take multiple steps to correct their unlawful behavior including to cease telling consumers that their warranties will be void if they use third-party services or parts, or that they should only use branded parts or authorized service providers. If the companies violate these terms, the FTC will be able to seek civil penalties of up to $46,517 per violation in federal court.

The FTC also directed the companies to add specific language to their warranties similar to the following: “Taking your product to be serviced by a repair shop that is not affiliated with or an authorized dealer of [Company] will not void this warranty” and/or “using third-party parts will not void this warranty.”  Weber must add to its warranty a statement that “Using third-party parts will not violate this warranty.” (

Don’t call it a give back: fast fashion enters the resale game

In the last three months, fast fashion brands Pretty Little Thing (PLT), Shein and Zara have launched resale platforms in an attempt to tap into the circular economy. While resale as part of a circular business model can be a sustainable alternative to buying new, experts are not convinced fast fashion is up to the task.

One of the key tensions is how companies communicate resale to consumers, and messaging is mixed.

“When you lead people to believe that a product can be recycled or have a second life — as is the case of these resale platforms — people end up consuming the primary good even more, because it is seen as a purchase with no consequences,” says Maxine Bédat, author and the director of the nonprofit New Standard Institute. (Vogue Business)

Repairing holiday lights…the Biomed way

As a biomed who has serviced medical instrumentation for almost four decades, I’m embarrassed to admit that I, too, have been confounded by these seasonal adornments.  However, anyone who has attempted string light repair will know it can be a challenge. 

Before getting ahead of oneself in the repairs, my advice is that you do not attempt to repair any string of lights if more than two bulbs are out.  Dispose of the light string if it is half-lit or not lighting at all.  However, if you are an ambitious biomed, you may still want to attempt the repair.  Following are some recommendations for those die-hard troubleshooters. (

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