Hamilton, Ontario — January 4, 2015 — The past year marked a milestone for the Vehicle Security Professional program in North America.
For the first time since the Canadian portion of the program started in 2012, over 1 million OEM security transactions were recorded by November in Canada and the US, on track to an estimated 1.2 million security transactions by the end of 2015. According to a statement from the program, more and more Canadian vehicle repairers and locksmiths are using the program to better repair and service customer’s vehicles.
The Vehicle Security Professional program (VSP) is part of the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard (CASIS) agreement signed voluntarily by most of the OEMs. CASIS came into effect on May 1, 2010. The agreement stipulates that any service and repair information, tools and training made available to a new car dealer by the auto manufacturer must also be made available on reasonable financial terms to the aftermarket.
Repair shops can now access all service and repair and most collision repair data from the manufacturer’s website for a fee. With the CASIS agreement in place, all service and repair data that is available to new car dealerships is available for use by independent repair facilities. Vehicles do not need to be turned away because the repair tech does not have the procedure or data to perform a proper repair.
Most car companies offer short, medium and long-term subscriptions to allow techs to access the required information. According to a statement from the Vehicle Security Professional program, many locksmiths and vehicle technicians have used less then reputable sources to obtain security data to make keys, handle immobilizer resets or other security-related repairs and service. Some OEMs had traditionally not made available the security data needed by these repairers, and in many cases repairers had found cooperative dealerships or outside sources for the needed data.
As part of the CASIS agreement, OEMs can participate in the Vehicle Security Professional (VSP) program. By completing an application form on the www.vehiclesecurityprofessional.ca web site and going through a criminal record check and other reviews, a professional locksmith or vehicle technician can successfully become accredited to the program. With the passcodes provided to them, these accredited techs can access most OEM web sites and obtain the needed security information to service the customer’s vehicle. According to the Vehicle Security Professional program, 97 percent of all inquires are answered within three seconds or less.
A number of newer vehicles require a security access before allowing a tech to continue on to other service related fields. PIN codes are the most common needed item for this work.
All transactions are checked with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s Investigative Services. Vehicles that show a stolen flag after being worked on will result in a quick response from investigation agencies looking for any linkage between the security codes made available and the theft of the vehicle, if any association exists. Shops that need specific security servicing tools or software that the local dealership will not provide can now contact the VSP office.
All repairers and locksmiths must keep a copy of the customer’s authorization form in their files as requests for security information can only be made with the vehicle owner’s approval. Shops that repair Mercedes-Benz vehicles have experienced problems in accessing Theft Relevant Parts (TRP) for the repairs, particularly transmission control units or steering column parts. Up until September of this year Mercedes-Benz Canada would restrict these Theft Relevant Parts to their dealerships only. That has changed and now any accredited Vehicle Security Professional can now access these parts in normal ordering.
The findavsp.ca website for Canada shows all accredited Vehicle Security Professionals by province across the country so that consumers can identify who are the only professionals, outside of a new car dealership, that can access security information. This also allows Mercedes-Benz Canada to identify who are the accredited professionals that are allowed to order Theft Relevant Parts.
Professional technicians and locksmiths can register with the program at vehiclesecurityprofessional.ca. Technicians must complete the application form and submit for review before being certified.