French lawsuit sparks investigation of Apple for deceptive repair practices
A December, 2022 lawsuit charging Apple with ‘planned aging’ of its products has sparked a larger investigation into possibly deceptive business practices, according to a report by France 24. The original lawsuit was filed by Halt Planned Obsolescence (HOP, Stop Planned Aging). The group sought to prove that Apple practices like part serialization, in which parts are digitally tied to specific devices, allow the company to limit repairs conducted by independent repair professionals and ordinary citizens. The suit cited incidents such as one in which customers who replaced defective displays on iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models found that Apple’s Face ID no longer worked. Apple claimed the problem was the result of a faulty update and fixed the ‘defect’ with the release of iOS 15.2.
The HOP suit cites offenses under the french Anti-Waste Law for a Circular Economy (2020) which makes it illegal to erect obstacles to repair and reconditioning. If left unaddressed, Apple will continue to use parts pairing to prevent “unauthorized” repairs, the suit alleges. Apple has not commented on the case.
Suits against manufacturers citing anti-competitive practices are on the rise. In the U.S., agricultural equipment maker John Deere faces a class action lawsuit that alleges the company illegally restricts the ability of farmers and independent repair professionals to service is machinery.
Tesla, the electronic car maker, is being sued a second time by owners of Tesla Model S and Model X who report that a software update to their vehicles has reduced the range of their vehicles by as much as 20%. In 2021 the company settled a class action lawsuit over similar allegations, restoring vehicle functionality and paying affected drivers $625 each in damages.
Logitech and iFixit announce deal on repair
Logitech has joined the likes of Google and Samsung in tagging iFixit to help build a self-repair program, Ars Technica reports. Under the terms of the deal, iFixit will sell spare parts for Logitech’s MX Master and MX Anywhere series of mice and provide relevant repair guides in the US this summer. The iFixit Logitech Repair Hub will stock parts for what iFixit claims are the most common repair needs, namely replacing the mice’s feet and rechargeable battery and opening the device.
“Together with Logitech, we want it to be easier to repair your Logitech mouse—before you worry about purchasing an entirely new one. Now that’s a win for you, and for repairability,” wrote iFixit’s Gwendalyn Garcia in a blog post.
iFixit will offer a collection of genuine Logitech parts including feet replacement, battery replacement, and opening procedures. Initially, only Logitech genuine parts will only be available in the US store, Garcia wrote.
Independent repair shops say Apple is making it impossible to compete. In 2021 Apple, under pressure from the Australian government’s Productivity Commission launched an independent repair provider program allowing small companies to compete with Apple to repair their products – such as the iPhone – using Apple tools and spare parts. Two years later, a report in Guardian Australia quotes independent repair shops in Australia and the US saying that Apple’s slow response times and the high cost for replacement parts makes it almost impossible for them to be viable competitors to Apple authorized repair.
Framework Laptop 13 (2023) review: The Anti-MacBook gets an upgrade. I’ve been following Framework since the company launched its first laptop, and after reviewing dozens upon dozens of portable PCs I’m still convinced this is one of the best Windows laptops you can buy — especially if you care about your right to repair and modify the things you own.
A million units of obsolete IT hardware has been stopped from reaching UK landfills through refurbishment and recycling through a Circular IT business app, launched in 2020. Businesses using the app can more effectively disposal of their unwanted IT asset, and arrange the collection of their unwanted IT equipment.
Why Americans are holding on to their cars longer. The cost of buying either a new or used vehicle is leaving more people with essentially no choice but to keep the one they have. “The repair-versus-buy equation changed,” said Todd Campau, an associate director with S&P. Even with rising repair costs, Campau said, it’s still typically more cost-effective to fix an older vehicle than to spring for a purchase. The average vehicle age, which has been edging up since 2019, accelerated this year by a substantial three months. And while 12.5 years is the average, Campau noted, more vehicles are staying on the road for 20 years or more, sometimes with three or four successive owners.
Uganda is using its massive amounts of banana waste to upcycle materials into carpets, hair extensions, biodegradable packaging, and cooking fuel briquettes, with the intention of reducing deforestation and promoting sustainable practices.
Some farmers find it unrealistic and unaffordable to use John Deere’s annual software subscription fee that allows farmers to diagnose and perform repairs on their machines without calling a dealer—even after the company signed an agreement with the American Farm Bureau. Some are calling the agreement a potential marketing strategy by the company.
European policies are focusing on enhancing product durability and repairability as a means to promote sustainable consumption and reduce environmental impact. It emphasizes the importance of international collaboration and highlights five key policy instruments:
Repair vouchers and repair funds
Information on the service life and repairability of products
Minimum product repairability requirements
Ban on destroying unused goods
Criminalization of planned obsolescence
There’s a profile of Representative Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez, a Democrat and former auto repair shop owner. Glusenkamp Pérez has introduced two bills in Congress aimed at giving consumers and independent repair shops access to the necessary tools, parts, and data for repairs, which would lower costs and support small businesses.
Another argument for repairing your clothes is the continued mistreatment of garment workers globally. Whether its the CEO’s making 400 times what their workers make or the continued danger laborers in the fashion industry are subjected to, there are strong arguments for supporting ethical brands and holding onto those articles of clothing for longer through repair.
I’m currently trying to learn sashiko to repair my ripped jeans (Jack)
OPINION: Recycle and repair is good for economy and people Let’s support local businesses, let’s support competition, let’s support repair rather than replace and let’s support manufacturers making things that last rather than consumed and pitched. Doing so will be giving your neighbors work at their repair shops or be stimulating people to learn how to fix things themselves.