Right to Repair Won Big in 2023

Right to Repair Won Big in 2023

iFixit Wrapped 2023: Advocacy Highlights

2023 was a huge year for protecting our Right to Repair everything we own! 

Look forward to user-replaceable batteries in all portable devices and light transportation vehicles in 2027, thanks to a new EU law. The EU also passed a law this year that will require parts, tools, and documentation for smartphones and tablets by 2025. And they’re making progress toward broad Right to Repair legislation that is poised to fix some of the biggest problems with all repair laws so far, banning software barriers to repair and putting some controls on parts pricing.

iFixit co-founder Kyle Wiens testified this year at a Right to Repair hearing in US Congress.

Four US states passed Right to Repair bills this year: Colorado passed the first-ever agricultural bill, which should help farmers—and everyone who eats. Minnesota passed the broadest Right to Repair bill yet, covering basically anything with a chip. And California’s bill will match EU ecodesign in requiring manufacturers to keep parts, tools, and documentation available for 7 years! (ICYMI, California had a surprise supporter: Apple themselves got on board.) Finally, Maine passed a bill with a whopping 84% of the vote, requiring auto manufacturers to share telematics data with owners and independent mechanics.

The whole world is waking up to repair: Quebec just took a page from France’s book and banned planned obsolescence. India’s pressuring more than a hundred companies to sign up for their Right to Repair portal that launched last December. And Taiwan and Belgium have both announced plans to create repairability scoring systems.   

iFixit’s been fighting as hard as we can all over the place. We cosponsored California’s law, testified at a US Congress hearing on Right to Repair, and pushed Google to extend Chromebook support to 10 years. 

The ice cream machine teardown, ICYMI.

We’ve been fighting for repair in other fun ways, too: We took apart a McDonald’s ice cream machine, because copyright law is keeping franchise owners from fixing their own machines. 

iFixit advocate Thomas Opsomer invited Members of European Parliament to guess how much the control board for his 984€ washing machine cost. Image courtesy Mark A. Phillips.

With the European Right to Repair Coalition, we invited members of the European Parliament to play The Price Is (Not) Right in Brussels, to show off just how ridiculously high some manufacturers price their parts. (Guess how much the control board for this 984€ washing machine cost? If you guessed close to but not over 574€, you win!)

And we’re featured in a super cool Smithsonian exhibit in Washington DC about cell phones—the exhibit lets you try out repairing a virtual cell phone yourself!

Repair keeps winning, but the fight’s not over. In 2024, we’ll be fighting to ban parts pairing software restrictions on repair, to get even more products covered (Colorado wheelchair users aren’t the only people who need better access to repair!), and to push manufacturers to share even more of the parts, tools, and documentation the repair world needs.