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

Media Contacts
Sander Kushen

Former Consumer Advocate, CALPIRG


LOS ANGELES — We rely on our cellphones and computers to work, learn, stay connected and much more. When your device breaks, you need to be able to fix it for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, many phones and laptops on the market are built to be difficult to fix, so they become essentially disposable.

This year’s updated “Failing the Fix” scorecard from CALPIRG Education Fund calculates a repairability score for the most popular cellphone and laptop brands. We give good grades to manufacturers that are designing devices to last and bad grades to those that are failing the fix.

Scorecard that ranks laptop and phone brands for repairability.

Just as last year, Dell received the highest score for laptops with a B+. Asus also received a B+, while HP received a B and Acer and Lenovo each scored B-. Microsoft scored a D+ and Apple got a D-. For cellphones, Motorola continues to lead with a B+, followed by Samsung with a C, Google with a D+, and Apple with a D, up from last year’s F. Apple placed last in both categories.Photo by Staff | TPIN

“Consumers have a right to know if the expensive tech they buy is fixable, especially because, unlike the old saying, you don’t always get what you pay for — at least when it comes to repairability,” said Sander Kushen, CALPIRG’s Consumer Advocate. “People should be able to buy products that will last, be repairable when they break, and are made by companies that respect our Right to Repair.”

Since January of 2021, France has required companies to provide detailed information about how fixable certain products are, and to post an overall repair score at the point of sale, much like the U.S. Energy Star rating that measures energy efficiency. Our second edition of “Failing the Fix” reviews the detailed repair information for 330 devices and tracks changes in grades since our last report. Overall, scores have increased, suggesting that repair scores incentivize manufacturers to design products that last, which is a win for the planet and consumers who want repairable devices.

The prevalence of unfixable stuff is a mounting 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 CALPIRG report found Americans could save a combined $40 billion a year if they were able to repair instead of replacing their products. 

“We’re excited to see manufacturers moving toward more-repairable designs after many years trending in the wrong direction,” said Dr. Elizabeth Chamberlain, Director of Sustainability for the leading repair website iFixit. “Manufacturers have even started asking us for repairability advice—and better yet, acting on it. We see this scorecard as evidence both that the repairability bar has been raised and that manufacturers can’t rest on their laurels.”

CALPIRG, iFixit and the environmental group Californians Against Waste have come together to sponsor The Right to Repair Act. This new legislation introduced by state Sen. Susan Eggman would make sure that consumers and independent repair technicians would get what they need to maintain our modern electronics. If passed, this bill would help consumers save money and reduce unnecessary e-waste. 

“A repair score provides important information for consumers so they can make the best purchasing choices for their budget. We’ve found that if a phone or laptop can be fixed and kept in use for years, it offers more long-term value,” explained Kushen. “It’s ridiculous to spend hundreds of dollars on expensive tech which is disposable. Companies should do more to design their products to last, and lawmakers can help by passing Right to Repair bills to ensure that we can fix our stuff.”