This is a call: Repair barriers to aftermarket from the field

by | Sep 19, 2022 | 0 comments

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada has put out a call to members of the automotive aftermarket for concrete examples of barriers to repair information.

This latest move is part of an ongoing campaign to gain Right to Repair legislation in Canada.

The industry has made significant inroads on this front but has reached a critical stage this fall with Canada’s Parliament going back into session and right to repair bills currently making its way through the House of Commons.

As part of the AIA Canada campaign, the association has issued a response to Hon. François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, who had provided an official response to the petition organized by the association.

That full letter can be read HERE but, in part, seeks to emphasize the importance of a legislative approach in a connected world, and that the existing CASIS voluntary agreement is not an effective initiative moving forward.

“Access to this data is essential. Vehicles on our roads today are like computers on wheels. These are web-connected vehicles, collecting thousands of data points on the health of vehicle systems. This data is then transmitted wirelessly to automakers, allowing them to control all access to it, including which auto repair shops can obtain it and under what terms. We are seeing automakers like Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen increasingly making access to repair information and tools more difficult, lengthy and expensive.

“Without access to this data, independent auto repair shops cannot service a vehicle, and leaves consumers without the right to repair their vehicle at the auto repair shop of their choice. With respect to the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard (CASIS), which you referenced in your response, this current voluntary agreement between automakers and the aftermarket worked well for traditional cars. This is because historically, technicians were able to access diagnostic data by plugging a scan tool into the port of the vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) – the computer system that monitors and reports on the health of the vehicle.

“However, CASIS was not built for a wireless world. Today, OBD is no longer the only means for information extraction, and notably, electric vehicles (EVs) are less likely to have OBD ports. Instead, new vehicles on Canada’s roads now have vehicle telematics systems installed, which comprise the computer hardware that is embedded in a vehicle that collects, stores and processes data – including data needed for diagnostic and repair. This data is transmitted directly from the vehicle to a backend server where it is under the ownership and control of the automaker.

Moreover, because notable auto manufacturers like Tesla have refused to join the agreement, its effectiveness has been undermined.

To help advance the cause of the aftermarket, AIA Canada is requesting real-world examples from the field:

  • Where were the barriers?
  • What did this mean for your customer?
  • How did it impact your business and employees?

Contact Alana Baker at [email protected] to share your story.

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