Right to Repair and the aftermarket

News Lucas Deal May 16, 2013

New vehicles are being built with complex on-board computers to monitor performance. These computers identify faults instantly throughout a vehicle, improving diagnostic and overall service times — but they aren’t available to some independent service providers.

The Right to Repair movement was created to provide the independent aftermarket that access.

Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved a Right to Repair initiative in 2012 that requires automotive OEMs to provide access to proprietary diagnostic information to independent service facilities.

The heavy-duty market was initially included in the proposal but was eventually taken out before it became a law.

Marc Karon, president of the Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN), says his organization is among the groups working to include the heavy-duty market in an updated version of the Massachusetts law.

Excluding heavy-duty from the bill could allow truck OEMs to continue holding diagnostic information captive, greatly reducing the service ability of the independent aftermarket, he says. Karon says independent service facilities are willing to pay for the diagnostic information once it’s made available. They just want the opportunity.

“We are working to ensure that the law will extend to the heavy-duty industry, either through an agreement with the engine manufacturers or through passage of a new law,” adds Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO.

This article is a sidebar from May’s cover story in Truck Parts & Service. To read that article, CLICK HERE.