by Jordan Hendler
For almost every advancement of vehicle technology we have in this industry, our repairers are usually not prepared in advance but are instead hit in the face with a vehicle sporting said new tech.
It’s a bit of an unfair dynamic and our national association representatives have just made a breakthrough with a “landmark agreement on automotive right to repair.” I’ve included the information below, but I highly recommend you read the entire release at this link.
The commitment among the Automotive Service Association, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists and Alliance for Automotive Innovation affirms a 2014 national agreement on automotive right to repair (R2R) and states unequivocally that “independent repair facilities shall have access to the same diagnostic and repair information that auto manufacturers make available to authorized dealer networks.”
In a letter to Congress outlining this major automotive R2R development, the coalition of repairers and automakers wrote: “This commitment was created with our mutual and valued customers in mind: vehicle owners. It affirms that consumers deserve access to safe and proper repairs throughout a vehicle’s lifecycle [and] it is built to last because it anticipates changes in automotive technologies and market evolutions.”
Highlights of the new automotive R2R agreement include:
Access to diagnostic and repair information: Independent repair facilities shall continue to have access to the same diagnostic and repair information that auto manufacturers make available to authorized dealer networks. This applies to:
• Telematics data needed to diagnose and repair a vehicle if not otherwise available;
• All vehicle technologies and powertrains, including gasoline, diesel, fuel cell, electric battery, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid electric powertrains.
Education and training: A pledge to work together on education and training programs so mechanical and collision repair facilities are fully aware of exactly where and how to obtain repair information, including:
• Directly through an automaker’s repair website;
• Shared access points like www.OEM1Stop.com;
• Via third-party information providers, software and tools.
Future advancements: As vehicle technologies and the corresponding demands on repairers evolve, the commitment ensures a level playing field and a forum to discuss future repairer needs as they develop.
As state legislatures and Congress consider automotive R2R laws, including the REPAIR Act, the parties noted: “…independent repairers and automakers are not at odds on automotive data access, but rather in lockstep on this fundamental principle: consumers should have choice when it comes to repair options and the ability to have their vehicle serviced in well-equipped shops by well-trained technicians anytime, anywhere, anyplace.”
Automotive R2R already exists:
• 70 percent of post-warranty automotive work today is handled by the independent repair community;
• OEM1Stop.com was created by automakers for repair technicians to find repair and diagnostic information on most vehicles;
• The Federal Trade Commission – the government’s top consumer protection and competition agency – has cited the automotive industry as an example of the repair aftermarket “working well.”
As reported by Repairer Driven News, part of this, and hailed as the most impactful part of the agreement, is “the creation of a non-proprietary vehicle interface device that can be used to access vehicle diagnostic systems that comply with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard J2534 (commonly referred to as SAE J2534), the International Organization for Standardization standard 22900 (commonly referred to as ISO 22900), or any successor to both standards by the society or organization.”
Going forward, these groups will continue to work to facilitate advancements in sharing and access to information, software and tools for repairers.
This is a huge win for the collision industry and one that warrants applause and continued support! WMABA is a proud affiliate of SCRS.
Want more? Check out the August 2023 issue of Hammer & Dolly!