Right-to-repair bill passes in California

1 min read

California has voted in favor of far-reaching laws that will mean that US tech companies, many of which are based in the state, will have to greatly increase the repairability of their products.

The bill passed last week by California lawmakers and backed by Apple requires that starting in 2024 electronics companies must provide parts, tools, repair manuals, and necessary software for devices that are still actively sold in California.

The rules will be backdated to include all products sold there since 2021. In the case of products costing more than $100 these materials will need to be made available for seven years after the last date they were manufactured. For products worth between $50 and $100 the figure is three years. Companies violating the law face fines of between $1000 and $5000 per day.

The California legislation is part of an ongoing push in the US and Europe to make electronics more repairable as a way to cut e-waste.

Similar right-to-repair legislation has already passed in Minnesota and New York, and in Europe France introduced a repairability index in 2021.

A number of tech companies, including Apple, Samsung and Google, have also partnered with the online repair website iFixit to increase the availability of parts and tools for their products.

iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens previously called Apple's endorsement of the California bill "a watershed moment for consumer rights."

“It feels like the Berlin Wall of tech repair monopolies is starting to crumble, brick by brick,” said Wiens.