Ricardo data access study welcomed by aftermarket

Ricardo data access study welcomed by aftermarket

The Ricardo-AEA Study on the functioning of the ‘Euro 5 Regulation’ has published it’s findings in a report that’s been welcomed by aftermarket groups.

European organisation FIGIEFA welcomed the comprehensive report, which describes the current difficulties faced by the independent aftermarket concerning the system of access to Repair and Maintenance Information (RMI).

The report identifies issues affecting independent operators’ competitiveness, before making recommendations on a revised EU framework Regulation. The Ricardo report describes takes an even-handed approach in evaluating investment in RMI websites made by the OEMs to comply with the Euro 5 Regulation.

For independents, the reliance on “third party providers” to obtain access to RMI has been highlighted, together with the necessity that multi-brand tools and services like diagnostics, catalogues, training remain economically viable solutions.

Barriers like incomplete information have been identified as obstacles for many independents too. For parts suppliers, access to part identification  data has been identified as a problem affecting competitiveness. The reports authors find the inefficiencies of multiple parts orders and returns cause unnecessary costs, potentially harming consumers with higher prices.

Issues were flagged on the onerous contract clauses imposed by OEMs, and fees for access to RMI. Due to this, tool manufacturers continue to prefer reverse engineering over direct access to information from OEMs.

Recommendations to improve the current market are based around a general need for greater ‘clarity’ and ‘better enforcement’.

The EU Commission is urged to improve guidance on data format, quality standards for information should be published to show coverage and functionality and a more concrete definition of a “reasonable fees” is needed.

On enforcement, better procedures are needed for investigation of complaints. The report suggest possible establishment of a separate verification body to check compliance with the RMI obligations set up in the Euro 5 Regulation.

“FIGIEFA welcomes the findings outlined in the Ricardo AEA report and calls upon the European Commission to take the identified issues, as well as the proposed recommendations and improvements, into due consideration in the ongoing revision of the Euro 5 and the Vehicle Type-Approval Framework legislation”, said Hartmut Röhl, president of FIGIEFA.

You can read the full report using the ‘More Details’ button below.

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