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HomeArticle → A year later, first feedback on the repairability index of washing machines
A year later, first feedback on the repairability index of washing machines

A year later, first feedback on the repairability index of washing machines

By Henry Grimaud (@HenryLesnums)Share:



It has been a year since window washing machines sold on the market had to display a repairability index. In a few figures, Gifam returned to this first year of experimentation.

For those who are not yet aware, a little reminder is in order. The repairability index is a score out of ten that informs the consumer about the ease of repairing an appliance (in this case, front-loading washing machines). To establish this score, the manufacturers – because they are the ones in charge of the calculation, then the display on their products – are based on five criteria: availability of technical documentation, ease of dismantling and quality of component fixings, duration of the availability of spare parts (and delivery times), the price of these parts and, finally, for washing machines more particularly, the presence of a usage counter, the software reset of the device and the ease to access after-sales service.

After a year of operation, the Gifam (interprofessional group of manufacturers of household appliances) draws some quantitative conclusions on the repairability index. According to the organization, more than 1,000 washing machine models have been evaluated and received their badge. If we take into account the devices produced by members of Gifam (which constitutes a little more than 80% of the offer according to the GfK institute), the lowest score is 5.1/10 and the highest high reaches 8.8/10. Finally, the average for washing machines is 7.2/10. We do not know much more for the moment, in particular on the reception of consumers.

A way to divert attention?

Perhaps we tend to see evil everywhere. But this communication comes a few weeks after an article by our colleagues in “Que Choisir” against the repairability index, describing it as “an artificial satisfaction on the repairability of their products by offering them points on a plate for minor criteria, or else very largely already applied (possibility of resetting the software for laptops, for example)”. In this indictment, the consumer association therefore points to rating criteria that are irrelevant or fall within the framework of legal obligations, such as the availability of spare parts for ten years for washing machines. “What to choose” also rightly underlines the absurdity of an equal coefficient for each rating point. Thus, the period of availability of the parts has the same weight in the final score as that of the technical documentation.

Another stumbling block, according to the figures of “Que Choisir”, the repairability index would actually be displayed on less than half of the products put on sale (42% exactly), with great disparities according to the sellers. If Leroy Merlin and Boulanger play the game by displaying the index on 100% of the products concerned for the first and 95% for the second, other merchants are much less receptive like Amazon (22%) or Carrefour, which does not take don't even bother to pretend – the repairability index was not indicated on any affected product sold by the trading giant as of the publication date of the article, last December 14th.

A brighter future for the index?

However, let's end on a note of optimism. Even if the display of the repairability index was mandatory from January 1, 2021, professionals still had one year to comply with the legislation and adopt the necessary measures. This is no longer the case since the beginning of this year and offenders can therefore expect some penalties. It is to be hoped that these are dissuasive enough to convince recalcitrants to comply with the obligations of the repairability index.

Henry Grimaud @HenryLesnums

Man of the house section, never goes out without his headphones spitting out heavy decibels. Dream of being able to play Bomberman on the touch screen of a washing machine.

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