On the Front Lines: Collision repair facilities need access to vehicle data

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— Tom Bissonnette, director for the Saskatchewan Association of Automotive Repairers, said automakers have every right to control their information⁠—though collision centres are usually the first that have to deal with new technologies of this variety⁠ and adapt accordingly.

“I can see that the OEMs would want to have a network of shops that have access to their proprietary information so that they can protect their brand⁠—Tesla, BMW and Mercedes do that now to some extent,” said Bissonnette. “The challenge is that it is usually the collision centres that are the first repairer that has to deal with this new technology.”

Regardless, Bissonnette says the independent repairer is long from being blocked by such measures from OEMs.

“I don’t think it will ever come to a point where they totally block out the independent repairer⁠—there’s no way the dealer network could deal with all the vehicles that need to be repaired and recalibrated,” he said.

The Automotive Industries Association was recently featured on CTV News as the aftermarket organization continues to advocate for vehicle data ownership and the consumer’s right to choose a repair facility. Through its ‘Your Data. Your Choice’ campaign, AIA Canada is calling on the federal government to acknowledge the importance of vehicle data ownership. The aftermarket organization says independent shops will be effectively shut out from repairing newer cars without proper data from OEMs.

By next year, approximately 80 percent of new vehicles sold will incorporate wireless technology to transmit data to OEMs in real time.

“If [independent repairers] don’t have that information, they can not safely and properly fix your car,” J.F. Champagne, president of AIA Canada told CTV News. “We believe it’s going to negatively impact the capacity of consumers to choose where and how they get their car serviced.”

The organization has been rallying for the ‘Your Data. Your Choice’ campaign since November 2020. A Change.org petition for the cause currently has more than 7,500 signatures.

AIA Canada will be hosting a webinar on Jan. 26, where J.F. Champagne will be discussing the ongoing success and upcoming challenges of the Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice.™ movement in Canada. He will be joined by special guest Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association–one of AIA Canada’s American partners in the Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice.™ campaign–who will give an update on the status of the movement south of the border.

The English session will be held at 1 p.m. ET, followed by a French session at 2 p.m. ET. Click here to register.

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