Proposed EU legislation protects OBD port

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The IAAF and FIGIEFA welcomes crucial provisions on the OBD connector and access to repair data included in proposed EU legislation on Vehicle Type-Approval Regulation, stating this represents
a huge step forward 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 repair/maintenance-related information (RMI). It also clarified that access will be granted whilst the vehicle is in motion – essential when performing diagnostic, repair and maintenance services, until a solution is found for independent operators to have telematics access to the ‘Connected Car’.

However, whilst it has been clarified that the OBD port shall remain open while the vehicle is in motion, some vehicle manufacturers have started to introduce new measures, preventing access of independent operators to the OBD port; the new Fiat 500 being one such example.

FIGIEFA’s aim is to ensure that aftermarket access to in-vehicle data remains not only possible, but in a useable format, stating that aftermarket access to in- vehicle data will contribute to effective competition, offering motorists freedom of choice in the aftermarket care of their vehicles.

“The new vehicle Type- Approval and its RMI legislation, once approved, will represent a step forward,” says FIGIEFA president Hartmut Röhl, “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, comments: “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.”

If approved, the new regulation will come into play from September 2020.

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