Right to repair for smartphones and co .: FDP takes the brakes

Electrical devices must be repairable again. This is how the traffic light plan for the right to repair can be summarized in its essence. However, there is still no clarity about how this is to be achieved, by when and, above all, who is in charge.

Just a few days ago, Klaus Müller, head of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations, called for more pressure and quick action on the right to repair electrical appliances, from washing machines to televisions to smartphones. The Ampel coalition has already provided for planned packages of measures in its coalition agreement.

Right to repair: FDP MPs see the EU as an obligation

For Müller it should be ready in March. It is unlikely that this will happen. A lot needs to be clarified beforehand, including whether the German government is or wants to be responsible at all. “A repair guarantee can only be decided on at European level“, Quotes the Bild-Zeitung in its printed edition of January 10, 2022, the FDP member of the Bundestag Judith Skudelny, a member of the Environment Committee – and that should then take significantly longer.

At the EU level, plans are already being pursued similar to those in Germany, the introduction of a reparability index is being prepared. But it doesn’t go as far as the ideas in Germany, should rather encourage sustainable production rather than oblige. To equate the German plans with this would be a step backwards. On the other hand, an EU-wide regulation would have much more weight compared to manufacturers such as Samsung, Xiaomi, Apple and Co. than a German solo effort. In addition, Apple has already announced corresponding plans.

From the point of view of the FDP environmental specialist, one should also check for which devices it makes sense to replace components. A Permanently installed batteries could, for example, have a positive effect on the service life of a cell phone. In this context, the better protection against water and dust is often mentioned, which is usually lower with smartphones that can be opened by the user.

Repairing your smartphone is by no means as easy as it is with this cable:

Repairing smartphones: Thuringia is the German model

But: Waiting for the EU is not the ideal solution. Determined action, not hasty, but also not unnecessarily delayed, would look good on Germany in this case. For example, Thuringia already demonstrated last year with its subsidy for repairs that one can successfully lead the way in environmental and consumer protection with a good example.