Australian Consumer Watchdog Accuses Honda of Lying to Customers
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accused Honda Australia of lying to customers in a series of calls, text messages and emails surrounding the service requirements of their cars. The ACCC has taken Honda to court, alleging that the manufacturer told customers of major Tynan Honda and Astoria Honda dealerships in Sydney and Melbourne that the dealerships would close or had closed and would no longer service Honda vehicles.
Honda adopted a controversial new sales structure and fixed pricing model in 2021 that terminated franchise arrangements with 36 authorised dealerships. (heraldsun.au)
🇮🇳 Opinion: Make India the Repair Capital of the World
India’s vast engineering talent can change the repair narrative and make India the repair garage of the world. We can extend the life of e-products by repairing and making such products more affordable. Building our repair momentum with repairability guidelines in place, we can export repair work and also fare better on climate action.
The repair economy is worth $100 billion. In 2017, the Swedish government introduced a 50% tax break for using repair services on consumer items. It’s important to design policy frameworks that allow for the proliferation of greater sustainable ideas and indigenization. The future is now. Let’s not lose the momentum. (livemint.com)
🎧 Weekend Listens
🧰 Making Hope, with Adam Savage (How to Fix the Internet): Adam Savage—the maker extraordinaire best known from the television shows MythBusters and Savage Builds—is an outspoken advocate for the right to repair, to tinker, and to put creativity and innovation to work in your own garage.
📱 The Delorean is Back and so is Right to Repair (WVFRM Podcast): Before talking about iFixit, Apple, and Youtube spam comments, Marques and Andrew dig into some EV news.
🚗 Honda DMCA’s Printable Elements (Talking Heads – Craft Computing): Welcome to Talking Heads, your once weekly show for everything happening in the world of tech, computers, gaming, craft beer and cocktails.
Apple’s shift to subscription hardware looks to short circuit right to repair
Apple Inc. is planning a subscription service for the iPhone and other hardware products according to a report last month from Bloomberg and others. But is subscription-based hardware a win or lose (or worse: a scam) for consumers?
The devil is in the details, according to this write-up in PSU Vanguard. What’s clear is that a subscription service will be a major shift away from hardware ownership into something more closely resembling an automatic lease on Apple services and products. The impact of this plan on consumers will be different depending on usage. This new form of payment could fundamentally change the landscape for technology accessibility, as well as the future of right-to-repair laws. (PSU Vanguard)
Coming soon: What the Fix?! (a Podcast)
With so much happening, what better time than now for a show to highlight some of the pioneers working on the front lines of the fight for the right to repair? That’s why we’re launching What The Fix?! a new (video) podcast in which we’ll highlight some leading lights in the global right to repair movement, including entrepreneurs, attorneys, consumer advocates and academics. (fighttorepair.substack.com)
Coming soon: the What The Fix?! podcast. Check out our preview.
Users and Critics Question if Apple Remembers Self Service Repair Program
Self Service Repair is something fanatics have wanted for awhile from Apple. While there are ways to purchase parts and access repair guides, virtually none of them are endorsed by the company. This new program brought hope to techies wishing to repair or even modify their Apple products however they see fit.
In terms of release, Apple has gone silent. In terms of news, nothing.
Many users are starting to question why Apple is lacking transparency on the matter. Critics argue that even if it is a production issue, in that Apple needs all the parts they can get, it would benefit the company to inform users. There is also rumors that a third party company is handling the physical components. This may mean the issue is outside of Apple’s control. Nonetheless, informing users should be a concern. (macobserver.com)
Big tech companies are finally making devices easier to repair
Repairing an old cell phone yourself is about to get a lot simpler. Over the past few months, Samsung, Google, and Apple have announced programs that allow regular consumers and independent repair shops to buy official parts, so they can more easily repair devices. Samsung and Google have partnered with repair specialists iFixit, while Apple’s plans to open an online repair shop are still unconfirmed.
Be warned, though. Just because repairing your phone is going to be more possible, it doesn’t mean it will be easy. As Google makes it clear in the press release, it intends for the parts to go to “independent repair professionals and skilled consumers with the relevant technical experience.” (popsci.com)
Your Samsung Galaxy will have recycled parts when you repair it
Samsung plans to put more effort into recycling components with the idea of using them in the repair of Samsung Galaxy. According to specialized media, the brand is looking for a certified recovery company that ensure the recycling of those still valid parts of phones. This greater reuse would mean significant savings in costs and in the waste generated.
The mobile phone industry has been improving processes in order to be more sustainable: both by reducing the use of metals that are not environmentally friendly and by reducing packaging and, not without some (and logical) controversy, even eliminating earphones to the chargers. With the greater incentive of the different governments in the right to repair, companies like Google or Samsung offer official components for anyone to fix their phone. And Samsung itself wants to go one step further. (voonze.com)
Framework Laptop review: a modular PC easy to fix or upgrade
On the outside the Framework looks like pretty much any modern laptop. It is reasonably thin at about 16mm, light at 1.3kg, and made of recycled aluminium. The body of the laptop feels solid and well made, and the hinge is rock solid and opens all the way to 180 degrees, but the lid feels more flimsy, with more flex in the screen than some when opened and closed.
The 13.5in screen is crisp and bright but is not a touchscreen, which is unusual for a Windows laptop. The deck has your choice of language keyboard and a fairly large standard trackpad. It even has a good 1080p webcam at the top of the screen with a physical switch to disable it and the mics, and a good fingerprint scanner built into the power button for logging into Windows. (theguardian.com)
📲 Here’s why we’re seeing all these self-repair phone services
Companies are being reluctantly forced to embrace self-repair, or making the decision in an effort to head off legislation that could be far stricter than they would like and force significant design changes to their products in order to comply. Either way, it’s clear these efforts are not being made out of any real concern for customers or the environment.
Nonetheless, whatever the reason, right-to-repair efforts are still a win for consumers. Hopefully, the companies will continue moving forward and not find a loophole that will allow them to extend and delay such initiatives indefinitely. (androidauthority.com)
Fighting planned obsolescence with extended warranties
For consumers who have to choose between living without a refrigerator or adding to their monthly interest payments, an extended warranty can be crucial, even if the added cost of the warranty delays a purchase.
Some people need extended warranties as insurance. Nearly 40% of Americans could not cover a $400 emergency expense with cash or with a credit card charge they could pay off on their next statement, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s “Report on Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2020.”
Take the humble printer cartridge. “What once was a thriving circular economy for recycling and re-manufacturing used printer cartridges” in the early 2000s, the petition states, has since “been destroyed and is currently on the verge of extinction… due to the import of cheap, non-reusable replacements.” (vcstar.com)
🛠️ 2021 & 2022 Right to Repair Milestones
Check out this timeline tracking Right to Repair debates, pending and rejected legislation, laws, technology company perspectives and more.
How a Right to Repair Bill Could Speed Up Wheelchair Fixes
Giving wheelchair users the tools to make simple fixes is the aim of a “right to repair” bill currently working its way through the Colorado Legislature. HB22-1031, titled Consumer Right To Repair Powered Wheelchairs, would require manufacturers to provide parts, embedded software, firmware, diagnostic documentation, and more to consumers. The bill labels a manufacturer’s failure to do so a deceptive trade practice. It’s a companion bill to HB22-1290, which would remove some of the bureaucracy Medicaid recipients face when trying to repair their wheelchairs.
Developing those regulations will take time, though, which is part of the reason 27 states, Colorado included, have started trying to pass right to repair legislation on the state level. (5280.com)
Other Repair News…
Apple Sued by Customers Over Right to Repair Their Own Devices (news.bloomberglaw.com)
Auto right to repair bill gains co-sponsor (Collision Week)
Rich Rebuilds Mods A Humvee to Run on Vegetable Oil (YouTube)