Many products, especially electric devices, do not last as long as they used to, which is an annoyance for consumers. At the same time, however, it is also a development that runs counter to recognised socio-political goals, namely mitigating climate change and protecting limited resources.
Extending the length of legal guarantees and shifting the burden of proof would reduce the risk of consumers investing their money in substandard products. Consumers also need information that makes it easier for them to assess the lifespan of products. An important instrument to achieve this is the EU Ecodesign Directive, which introduced thresholds for the energy consumption of electrical appliances as early as 2005. The result: new products on the market are more energy-efficient, use less water and thus save money. In future, resource efficiency is also to play a greater role. This means that products should become more durable, repairable and recyclable, as well as upgradeable.
- The length of legal guarantees and the reversal of the burden of proof for durable goods must be based on the use and service lifetime of the products. Minimum lifespan of products must be clearly indicated on the product or in the product description.
- Manufacturers must be obliged to inform consumers about the expected lifetime of products, their reparability and, if applicable, the availability of software updates.
- The scope of the EU Ecodesign Directive must be extended to product groups such as household and office furniture, clothing and micromobility products as well as eBikes.