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Product safety lawyer cautiously welcomes 'right to repair' scheme

​A product safety solicitor who has represented a number of people affected by kitchen appliance fires has cautiously welcomed the announcement of the European ‘right to repair’ scheme.

Washing machines

2 October 2019

The European Commission announced new standards yesterday that require manufacturers to make appliances longer-lasting and more easily repairable and make spare parts available for a longer time period of up to 10 years. These spare parts will be available to professional repairers.
 
It is hoped that new standards, which are part of the EUs Ecodesign Directive, will cut down on waste by making it more likely that consumers will keep their appliances for longer. They will also include a requirement to make the appliances more energy efficient. The standards will apply to dishwashers, washing machines, fridges and lighting and will come into force from April 2021.
 
The changes followed complaints from consumers of appliances breaking down when they were just out of warranty.
 
Thomas Jervis, solicitor in the product safety and consumer law team at Leigh Day, said:
 
“It is good news that appliance manufacturers will be required to make their appliances last longer, easier to repair post-warranty and more energy efficient. However, it is important that repair programmes are not used to cover up widespread safety issues, such as a risk of fire, where the only acceptable option to ensure consumer safety is a full recall.”

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