A Closer Look at the Availability of Service Information
By Mike Stanton
AIAM's leader applauds the industry's efforts and commitment to providing independent repairers with the service information they need to repair vehicles.
Advanced technology in today’s new cars and light trucks has brought consumers unprecedented levels of fuel efficiency, performance and reliability. As ASA members know, these advances require investments in both tools and training to quickly and accurately diagnose and repair these products. Yet the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) and others continue to claim that auto companies withhold vital information about their vehicles from independent repair shops. Their proposed “remedy” is so-called “Right to Repair” legislation. Bills are now pending not only in Washington, D.C., but at several state capitals – including Boston and Trenton, N.J.
A closer look at the facts tells a different story than CARE relates to the news media and lawmakers.
With 70 percent to 80 percent of post-warranty repairs performed by independent repair shops, automakers rely on these facilities to provide quality repair and maintenance to ensure our mutual customers remain satisfied with their vehicles. This dependence means that manufacturers have a strong, market-based motivation to provide complete and accurate service information so that independent shops can diagnose and repair vehicles quickly and affordably. Anything less would jeopardize the customers’ positive ownership experience, brand loyalty and the potential for a repeat sale.
The recently completed effort to ensure that key codes, immobilizer PINs and other security-related vehicle information is available to the aftermarket underscores the auto industry’s commitment. The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF), through the support of ASA, the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM), the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (the Alliance), the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), and others, recently culminated three years of intense collaboration and announced the creation of the Secure Data Release Model (SDRM).
This program allows properly vetted technicians and security professionals access to security-related vehicle information anytime, anywhere, while maintaining the integrity of the security system itself. With this new system, no one who is inadvertently locked out of his or her vehicle needs to go to an auto dealer for assistance, but can instead use any qualified and pre-screened locksmith. Similarly, independent technicians will have access to this information should it be necessary to complete a specific repair.
AIAM and its members remain committed to the SDRM program, the National Automotive Service Task Force, which facilitated its development, and to the release of same-service information to the aftermarket as is provided to franchise dealers. We greatly appreciate and applaud ASA’s commitment to work with the industry to develop and advance voluntary programs that quickly and effectively address issues that arise as our vehicles continue their technological evolution.
Consumer Reports has called “Right to Repair” legislation a “bogus solution” to an auto repair problem that doesn’t exist. We agree and encourage you to continue to support ASA in opposing this “solution” in search of a problem at both the federal and state levels of government.
||Mike J. Stanton is president and chief executive officer of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers Inc. (AIAM). Stanton has spent almost 30 years representing motor vehicle manufacturers before Congress, the executive branch, state legislatures and international automobile associations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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