The government is being urged not to discriminate against the automotive aftermarket amid plans to stop the “tampering” of road vehicles for safety and environmental reasons.
UK AFCAR, a coalition formed by the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), warns that vehicle repairs and maintenance are not explicitly included in the current proposals.
The proposed legislation could see the supply, installation and/or advertising of a “tampering product” for a vehicle become illegal – this would apply where a principal effect of the product is to bypass, defeat, reduce the effectiveness of or render inoperative a system, part or component.
It would create new offences for tampering with a system, part or component of a vehicle intended or adapted to be used on a road.
The removal or modification to reduce the effectiveness of a part or component for a vehicle and advertising such services could also become an offence.
In a statement, UK AFCAR said: “Great care is needed to avoid discriminating against the aftermarket.
“The legitimate process to repair and maintain a vehicle in the 30,000+ independent workshops that support the UK consumers’ competitive choice and affordable mobility is not explicitly included.
“Therefore, this legitimate process to repair and maintain a vehicle should not be compromised by the requirements of this legislation.
“It would be important that this aspect is covered directly by legislative text.”
The lobby group is calling for a revision on the government’s definition for non-compliance: “The fitment and integration into a vehicle of replacement parts or software shall be considered legitimate unless they directly alter the original design and functionality of that vehicle to a level which would no longer allow compliance with that vehicle’s original vehicle type approval.”
To enable the independent parts manufacturers to do this, UK AFCAR states that they will need access to the technical details of parts and components.
UK AFCAR’s modified paragraph based on the existing legislation (EU2018/858 Chapter XIV article 61) reads: “For the purposes of manufacturing and servicing of compatible replacement or service parts and diagnostic tools and test equipment that are assessed under the vehicle’s original type approval, manufacturers shall provide the relevant vehicle information and vehicle repair and maintenance information on a non-discriminatory basis to any interested manufacturer or repairer of parts, components, diagnostic tools or test equipment.”
A parliamentary debate on vehicle tampering is to be held on Monday 25 April at 4.30pm.
UK AFCAR comprises of automotive trade associations and commercial organisations to lobby the UK government on upholding the rights of the independent aftermarket and consumers in the post-Brexit era.