Canadians deserve a choice when it comes to auto repair
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Modern, web-connected vehicles collect thousands of data points on the health of vehicle systems. Without access to this data, independent auto repair shops cannot service a vehicle. This data model leaves consumers without the right to repair their vehicle at the auto repair shop of their choice.
Canadians have always had the freedom to choose where they get their vehicles serviced or fixed. But unfortunately, that ability to choose may no longer be valid.
The vehicles we drive are becoming more and more complex and full of data. When it comes to repairing modern vehicles, it requires access to the vehicle’s diagnostic data. This data is owned by the automaker, meaning they control who can access it. And currently, automakers are not sharing this data with independent auto repair shops. This means that Canadian consumers can no longer choose where they service their vehicles—they will only be able to go the dealerships. This means that Canadians will have to travel further, pay more, and wait longer.
To ensure that Canadian consumers still have the choice where they repair their vehicles, it is time to take action and advocate for the right to repair.
Repairing modern vehicles requires access to the vehicle’s diagnostic data. Automakers control diagnostic data. New vehicles wirelessly transmit diagnostic data to automakers, allowing them to control all access to it, including which auto repair shops can obtain it and under what terms.
Increasingly, Canadians have no choice for auto repair. Because automakers won’t share diagnostic data, this leaves owners with only one option: to service their vehicles at the dealership.
Canadian consumers agree that they should have the right to repair their vehicles (Abacus Data, 2021).
agree or strongly agree that consumers should have the ability to get their vehicles serviced at any auto repair shop they want.
agree or strongly agree that automakers should be required by law to share data with independent auto repair shops so they can fix their vehicle
would be less likely to purchase, or would not purchase at all, a certain vehicle if it could only be serviced at a dealership.
For Canadian consumers, the increased reliance on wireless diagnostic data is making it difficult for them to have their new vehicle serviced at the auto repair shop of their choice.
The Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard (CASIS) – the current voluntary agreement between automakers and the aftermarket – worked well for traditional cars. However, for a truly open, fair, and competitive Canadian automotive aftermarket to continue to exist, consumers need to be protected by legislation that reflects the new reality of vehicles in Canada and give the aftermarket direct, remote, and real-time access to diagnostic data.
Enacting legislation that preserves the right to repair will:
With the fast-paced introduction of new vehicle technology, the preservation and protection of consumer choice and affordable vehicle repair are urgently needed. Consumers deserve the right to repair their vehicle at the auto repair shop of their choice.
For more information or to discuss other ways you can get involved, please contact Alana Baker, AIA Canada’s Senior Director of Government Relations.
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