Major factors affecting the independent sector: Access to information
The IGA is releasing a series of bulletin articles detailing factors affecting the independent motor industry in today’s modern age. This time, we’re discussing the ways in which access to vehicle and technical information is dealt with.
As vehicle systems become more advanced and interconnected, the availability of not only technical repair data but ‘in-vehicle’ data is becoming more and more important.
Technical repair data is, by and large, readily available to all. This can be at a cost to the professional independent repair sector to enable them to undertake maintenance and repair, however, this access needs to be safeguarded.
Vehicle data, currently accessed via the onboard diagnostic port (OBD) is also vital to enable the repairing garage to identify and understand any faults that have occurred within the vehicle’s systems.
Data available via the OBD is not limited to fault codes but also enables the identification, specification and build data of an individual vehicle to be confirmed, thus enabling the repairing garage to source the correct parts, lubricants and technical repair information specific to the vehicle in front of them.
Some vehicle manufactures are seeking to limit access to data via the OBD on the grounds of vehicle security information restrictions, however, unsurprisingly this is meeting some resistance. Should these manufacturers be successful in restricting OBD access, this would detrimental to consumer choice and create a virtual monopoly for VM-approved service and repair facilities.
The IGA will soon be launching a new solution to access security information that provides key and towbar programming. If you have further questions or need guidance on this topic, please call our friendly member helpline on 0845 305 4230.