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Aftermarket organisations delighted with provisional Type-Approval legislation
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Thursday, January 04, 2018
The IAAF and FIGIEFA have welcomed the news that crucial provisions on the OBD connector and access to RMI have been included in the proposed EU legislation on Vehicle Type-Approval Regulation, signifying a huge step forward for the aftermarket regarding access to in-vehicle data.

This news comes after Autobiz successfully organised a petition and lobbying of Irish EU representatives to ensure that the voice of the independent aftermarket in Ireland was taken into account. 

The EU Council's main preparatory body, COREPER, recognised the need for the independent automotive aftermarket to maintain access to diagnostic and RMI-related data. It also clarified that access will be granted whilst the vehicle is in motion. This is essential to perform diagnostic, repair and maintenance services, at least until a solution is found for telematics access to the ‘connected car’.

However, whilst it has been clarified that the OBD port shall remain open whilst the vehicle is in motion, some vehicle manufacturers have started to introduce new measures, preventing access of independent operators to the OBD port. FIGIEFA’s aim is to ensure that aftermarket access to in-vehicle data remains possible, with the issue to be swiftly addressed in 2018 by the EU Council.

Concerning the format of RMI information made available to independent repairers, this has often been in an unusable format, hampering the repair process causing significant losses in terms of time and efficiency. The new legislation intends to clarify that RMI and spare parts identification information shall also be provided in a machine readable and electronically processable form.

Aftermarket access to in-vehicle data will increase the competitiveness of automotive servicing and contribute to effective competition, offering motorists freedom of choice in the aftermarket care of their vehicles.

Hartmut Röhl, FIGIEFA president said, "The new vehicle type-approval and its RMI legislation, once approved, will represent a step forward and will have a positive impact for the entire automotive aftermarket and mobility services industries which account for more than 500,000 companies employing more than 4.3 million people across Europe and offering services to 284 million vehicle owners and business operators alike. However, the EU Commission must now find a solution on how to address the telematics access to the ‘connected car’, and we call upon it to start working in 2018 on the interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform.”

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said, "This is fantastic news, and although not the end game it’s a significant step towards keeping the OBD port alive. The missing OBD connector would impact not just on garages but the entire spare parts supply chain including manufacturers, distributors, producers of diagnostic equipment and dedicated software for the OBD connector, as well as millions of consumers who would no longer have a competitive choice in vehicle servicing and repair. This positive step marks the next stage in our fight and we’ll keep lobbying until we successfully reach that end game.”

The agreement will now need to be approved by the EP IMCO Committee before it is submitted for approval. If approved by the European Parliament, the new regulation will come into play from 1 September 2020.

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