A Tesla Model 3 owner from the U.S. ran over an object, and it punched through the sheet of metal that protects vital car parts. As a result, a plastic tube that takes coolant to the battery snapped from its secured location and hit a fitting. All kinds of errors started popping up, so a service visit became mandatory.
When the owner went to Tesla for a checkup, he quickly learned that fixing the car was going to be pricey. They told him the whole battery had to be replaced – a procedure that would have cost this man around $16,000. He considered getting a loan to fix the leased EV but found out from people who went through similar things that someone could fix it for a lot less.
Lo and behold, the whole procedure was possible for approximately $1,000. The coolant port was repaired, and the sedan was once again ready to add miles to its odometer. The mechanic used a simple procedure to cut off the damaged part and replace it with another one that worked perfectly. (autoevolution.com)
Consumers’ right to repair their products is under attack. Manufacturers have decimated this long-held right by making parts unavailable, preventing products from working, and imposing software restrictions that block access to information and parts. Farmers can’t repair their tractors, medical technicians can’t fix ventilators, and military officers are stuck with broken equipment.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, according to Michael Carrier, a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University Law School. Writing in Competition Policy International, Carrier proposes a framework for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to challenge manufacturer behavior as an “unfair method of competition” under Section 5 of the FTC Act. (Competition Policy International)
The head of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv), Ramona Pop, hopes for “real progress” through the “right to repair” promised by politicians. Consumer Protection Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) had announced it as an “important step out of the throwaway society”. The consumer advocates are now pushing for a quick implementation.
“Other countries like France are leading the way,” says Pop. With the French repair index, for example, consumers can judge devices by how well they can be repaired. “That would not only be conceivable for Germany, but also desirable.”
Because many would like the devices to last longer, says Pop. The products should not break down shortly after the end of the warranty, as is often the case. “More and more people are saying: I don’t have to buy a new one straight away just because something broke,” says Pop. “But we also see that relatively high repair costs put many people off.” (Concert Blogger)
Earlier this month, an Australian hacker did a live jailbreak of a John Deere tractor display to play Doom on it. The hacker, who goes by Sick.Codes, wasn’t out to prove that a six-ton, $35,000 machine makes for a good video game console. Rather, he wanted to show how farmers could hack into their tractors to fix them instead of relying on licensed dealers.
“Farmers can see that and know there’s someone in their corner,” Sick.Codes told Quartz. As tractors become more high-tech, who gets to fix and manage them is up for debate. Many farmers are used to repairing their equipment and want to keep that right. But tractor manufacturers like John Deere say unsanctioned tweaking of their equipment poses safety hazards. (Quartz)
Defective mobile phones and other devices should be easier to repair in the future. consumer Protection Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) had already announced this – the consumer centers are now pushing the pace with the planned “right to repair”. The head of the Federal Association of Consumers, Ramona Pop, is hoping for “real progress”, as she told the German Press Agency in Berlin. As a survey shows, many mobile phone users shy away from repairs because of the high costs. (Voonze.com)