Trade bodies celebrate provisions for type-approval reform

New proposed regulations include the continued presence of the OBD port and rules on access to information

Trade bodies celebrate provisions for type-approval reform
Crucial provisions such as the continuing presence of the OBD port and rules on access to information are included in the new regulations.

Crucial provisions on the OBD connector and access to RMI have been included in proposed EU legislation on Vehicle Type-Approval Regulation, signifying a huge step forward for the aftermarket regarding access to in-vehicle data.

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.

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.”

Data access

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.

The Independent Garage Association has this week said: “This is extremely important for the independent sector and takes us into 2018 on a high note.

“There will still be challenges for independent garages as some vehicle manufacturers have started to restrict access to the OBD port through electronic certificates and the IGA will continue to work with European bodies and lobby in the UK and Europe for a genuinely level playing field.

“This is an important result for our sector and a significant leap in the right direction.”

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.

“Significant step”

Wendy Williamson, chief executive at the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation, 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.”

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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