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‘Failing the Fix’ scorecard grades Apple, Google, Dell, others on how fixable their devices are

Dell leads pack for laptops; Motorola for cell phones; Apple ranks lowest for both, according to repairability analysis by Right to Repair advocates
For Immediate Release

Seattle, WA-- Consumers often don’t know which products will last and they’ll be able to fix, or which manufacturers make fixable devices and support Right to Repair. A new scorecard by WashPIRG Foundation, “Failing the Fix,” ranks the most popular cell phone and laptop makers for consumers who seek to purchase easily repairable products – especially those from companies who do not fight to prevent Right to Repair.

Over the last year, France has required manufacturers to publish a repair score, from 0 to 10, with their products. “Failing to Fix” collected the French repair scores of 187 devices from 10 popular manufacturers, weighed a few additional factors related to how repair-friendly the manufacturers and products were, and came up with a final score.

The report found that the prevalence of unfixable stuff is a problem for both consumers and the planet. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that electronic waste is now the fastest growing part of our domestic municipal waste stream, and an earlier PIRG report found Americans could save a combined $40 billion if they were able to repair instead of replacing their products.

Interconnection, Seattle’s own charitable computer recycling and reuse program, has been refurbishing laptops and distributing them to communities in need all across the globe. “Our goal is to get the best devices into the hands of everyday citizens in schools, low income communities, and nonprofits,”' says Abraham Diekhans-Mears, Sales Manager with Interconnection. “But if we can’t repair the devices, it limits our ability to get these devices into  the hands of those in need.”

The report concludes that there are large disparities in device repairability, and it can be difficult for consumers to assess that when they shop -- if they don’t know where to look.

“When we can’t fix our student’s devices, and are forced to replace them, that puts even more stress on our already-tight budgets,” said Sandy Hayes, District 4 Director with the North Shore School District. “My school district, and others across the state should be considering the repairability scores from this report when we make purchases for our schools.”

“iFixit has been raising the alarm around hard to repair products for over a decade. From glued in batteries to proprietary tools, so many new product designs systematically stymy repair. That's a shame, because longer lasting products are better for the environment and better for consumers,” said Dr. Elizabeth Chamberlain, Director of Sustainability for iFixit. “Despite those obstacles, we've helped millions of people repair their own gadgets—and become better informed about which products to support. When consumers prefer repairable products, it sends a powerful market signal.”

The national Right to Repair coalition, which includes PIRG, iFixit and Repair.org, has been calling for better access to parts, tools and information needed to repair modern devices.

“We hope that, with more information, consumers will buy more repairable products, and manufacturers will build them,” explained Nicole Walter, WashPIRG Foundation Advocate. “At the end of the day, no product should be made unfixable. Lawmakers should pass Right to Repair bills to ensure that we can access necessary parts and tools for each product we buy.”

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