If it’s Your Car, Isn’t it Your Data?

A move by automakers to lock down the data on the cars they make could require a new declaration of independence, according to voices heard at the recent Auto Care Association’s Legislative Summit.

A Daphne, Alabama company was one such voice heard at the event Sept. 18-19 in Washington, D.C.

Members of Congress and the business group used the time, in part, to discuss how the ownership of vehicle data and the Motor Vehicle Owner’s Right to Repair Act are affecting car owners and car technicians.

As it stands now, auto repair technicians can typically access a customers’ onboard computer to get data to help with maintenance and repair. However, as vehicles get more complex, data is more often transmitted wirelessly and sent directly only to vehicle manufacturers. This denies independent technicians the ability to do their jobs and can create inconvenience, greater costs and fewer maintenance and repair options for customers.

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Parts remanufacturers were among those calling for auto manufacturers to loosen their grip on this essential data. One such that spoke out at the summit was BBB Industries, a remanufacturer of starters, alternators, hydraulic and air disc brake calipers, power steering products and turbochargers

“Data ownership is a major concern, and many people are not aware of its impacts,” said John Boyer, BBB Industries executive vice president of marketing and product management. “Advocating for our industry is more important now than ever before, so it is critical that when we have the opportunity to get in front of our representatives, we take it.”

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