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What is the repairability index? Fighting against programmed obsolescence


Origin of planned obsolescence

Created at the beginning of the 20th century, planned obsolescence includes all the means to deliberately reduce the lifespan of a product in order to increase its replacement rate. For example, programmed obsolescence is intended to induce its owner to get rid of a broken product because it is impossible to repair (assembly system with glue, brittle clips, no repair service) or because spare parts are no longer available.

In 2012, ADEME (the Environment and Energy Management Agency) distinguished two types of planned obsolescence:

Functional obsolescence, which “means that a product no longer meets the expected new uses for technical, regulatory and/or economic reasons”. Obsolescence of evolution or mode, when a «product no longer meets the desires of users who wish to acquire a new model due to an evolution of functionality or design».

Law no. 2015-992 of 17 August 2015 on the energy transition for green growth recognizes the offence of planned obsolescence, which is punishable by a two-year prison sentence and a 300,000 euro fine, the fine may be increased to 5 % of the average annual turnover.

Origin of the repairability index

The repairability index is a tool put in place by the French government as part of the anti-waste law for a circular economy, to allow manufacturers of electronic devices and household appliances to calculate the repairability rating of their products. On the consumer side, this repairability rating gives clear information on the more or less repairable degree of their purchases.

This out of 10 rating, based on a rigorous assessment of the ease of product repair, also aims to raise awareness among manufacturers and consumers of the environmental issues related to the life of products, and thus combat planned obsolescence.

This repairability index was created on January 1, 2021 on a set of 5 product categories (televisions, smartphones, laptops, window washers and lawn mowers) and from November 4, 2022 on four new categories (dishwashers, top washers, vacuum cleaners and high-pressure cleaners).

Here’s how the repairability index is calculated, based on the 5 government criteria you can find on the site: https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/indice-reparabilite

The calculation of the repairability index for each product model is based on five criteria:

Documentation: score determined by the producer’s commitment to make technical documents freely available to repairers and consumers over a number of years. Disassembly and access, tools, fasteners: score determined by the ease of disassembly of the product, the type of tools required and the characteristics of the fasteners.

Spare parts availability: score determined by the manufacturer’s commitment on the length of spare parts availability and on the delivery time.

Spare parts price: score determined by the ratio between the selling price of spare parts and the price of the product.

Specific: score determined by sub-criteria specific to the product category concerned.

The different scales of the repairability index

There are 5 levels of product repairability in the form of 5 pictograms that allow professionals to mark their product once it has been calculated:

“Not repairable at all” with red pictograms, for products with a repairability index between 0 and 1.9/10
“Very difficult to repair” with the orange pictograms, for products with a repairability index between 2 and 3.9/10
“Difficult to repair” with yellow pictograms, for products with a repairability index between 4 and 5.9/10
“Not very repairable” with light green pictograms, for products with a repairability index between 6 and 7.9/10
“Very easily repairable” with dark green pictograms, for products with a repairability index greater than 8/10

Source : ministère de la Transition Écologique

A very easily repairable product, that is to say with a repairability index greater than 8.5/10, is a guarantee of durability. It is an investment more than a purchase because its lifespan is far superior to other products with a repairability index less than 8.5/10.

Consumer associations hope that this index will be widely taken into account by manufacturers and will encourage real environmental awareness in the consumer electronics industry. By highlighting brands that offer quality products that are easily repairable, the repairability index aims to create a real dynamic of change in the consumer electronics industry.

By 2024, the anti-waste law for a circular economy provides that this index becomes an index of sustainability, notably by adding new criteria such as the robustness or reliability of products.

Daan Tech has the best repairability index in the dishwasher category.

Daan Tech, as a manufacturer of household appliances, is concerned by this repairability index since 4 November 2022 with Bob, its eco-compact dishwasher.

Daan Tech has been committed since its creation in 2016 by offering appliances manufactured locally in France that stand out for their reliability and repairability. The aim is to offer products that are designed to last over time and are very easy to repair.

The Bob eco-compact dishwasher has the best repairability index in the world, with a score of 9.3/10. Its glueless design, with only a few standard screws to access all parts, makes it very easy to repair.

The quality of Daan Tech products is recognised for their durability and reliability, with an average consumer review rating of 4.3/5 (source: Trustpilot, year 2022).

Daan Tech promotes the repair of household appliances to make them last longer. The spare parts sold are available on a dedicated website (on request from Daan Tech’s After Sales Service). Daan Tech is committed to the production of eco-compact appliances and provides the necessary documentation and videos to help customers carry out repairs on their appliances.