As from the 1st March 2021 consumers will have the right to repair the goods they buy. Although the UK has left the EU, the UK government have pledged to adopt the new legislation. The Kbsa has welcomed this new law which will mean that items such as fridges and washing machines should last longer, be to cheaper to run and will reduce the 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste which is generated in the UK each year. This is clearly good news for consumers and the planet but how have manufacturers responded and what implications does it have for retailers?
We asked our corporate partners for their views, a selection of their comments are included here.
Ian Moverley, Director, UK Public Affairs at Whirlpool Corporation said, “Sustainability is core to our culture and we fully support changes that help customers so they can make the right choice for them. That’s why, for many years, we have been providing a 10 year guarantee for spare parts across our Hotpoint, Indesit and Whirlpool brands.
“It means UK and Irish families know that they can choose our brands with confidence in their performance and reliability as well as ongoing durability. We’re proud that with the largest kitchen appliance engineer operation in the country, we can always offer consumers the choice between maintaining their existing products or new, efficient products using the latest technology."
Gordon Dawson, Head of Kitchen Retail & Contracts at Electrolux said, “As a leading company in the area of sustainability, Electrolux is fully committed to the EU Eco-Design Legislation and its’ objective of energy efficiency and circularity to simplify the repair of domestic home appliances.
“We want to assist consumers to make sustainable choices and simplify their lives. We therefore consider the EU’s new Eco-Design Legislation for washing machines, washer dryers, dishwashers, and refrigerator/freezers, to be extremely important and we have implemented the necessary new actions, effective from 1st March 2021.
Even before this new legislation, the Electrolux target was to have spare parts for major appliances available for at least 10 years. We have now ensured that the specific parts identified in the new legislation, such as door handles, door seals & hinges and the instructions to change these, will be available directly to our consumers. We have also made the required information available to independent repairers through an online registration system. In addition, our user manuals including installation instructions, continue to be available to consumers online.
As an additional level of support for our independent kitchen studio partners we have a full range of digital format energy labels available for download through our AEG Premier Partner Portal. This package is designed to assist them in meeting the new government legislation on energy rating changes, both on their websites and within their retail showrooms.”
Mike Rixon, Head of Technical Management, Miele GB said, “The aim of the new rules is to extend the lifespan of products by up to 10 years. Miele spare parts are available for up to 15 years, but at least 10 years from the end of series production.
“However, Miele has been a pioneer for sustainability since its conception in 1899. Miele is the only manufacturer in the industry to test its products to last up to 20 years, therefore ahead of the legislation. For a washing machine, this service life corresponds to approximately 10,000 operating hours. Also Miele domestic appliances are renowned for their reliability. Nevertheless, over the course of an appliance life, faults may occur that require a repair. In order to keep costs low in such cases, the appliances are designed to be 'repair-friendly' and spare parts are readily available from our website or approved retailers.”
Simon Jones, Director, Kitchen Division at BSH Home Appliances Ltd said, “BSH Home Appliances supports the government’s move to introduce Right to Repair legislation.
“At BSH, we strive to offer reliability and longevity, with products that are both easy to, and worthy of, repair. This commitment is backed by a directly-employed network of more than 300 engineers trained by BSH, providing an exceptionally high first –time fix rate, reducing the need for additional engineer journeys as well as providing a better experience for the consumer.”
“We expect spare parts to be available for at least 10 years, providing consumers with easy access to manufacturer-managed, cost-effective repairs. As a carbon neutral organisation, we take our responsibilities with regards to sustainability seriously, including the substantial investment we have made into digitally enabled appliances which, potentially, enables faults to be remotely diagnosed and even repaired without an engineer having to visit.”
“Digital technology also improves performance, making appliances easier to use for the consumer and helping us to minimise the use of precious resources such as energy and water.”
Finally Paul Hide, CEO AMDEA, said:
"The new Right to Repair requirements are fully supported by all AMDEA members. In practice most reputable manufactures already comply with most if not all of these new requirements, in terms of maintaining the availability of spare parts for up to 10 years. In this context safety is the main concern for all manufacturers. Repairs should always be carried out by qualified personnel, using manufacturer specified parts. It should always be stressed that it is a significant risk to safety for an untrained individual to attempt an appliance repair on a large domestic appliance."