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ODB ports to be left open to garages under draft legislation.

In recent years some vehicle manufacturers have started to introduce new measures, preventing access of independent operators to the OBD port, so it is good news that the EU has drafted legislation on the OBD connector and access to RMI on Vehicle Type-Approval Regulation.

COREPER , the EU Council's main preparatory body, recognised the need for the independent automotive aftermarket to maintain access to diagnostic and RMI-related data. A significant bonus is that access will be granted whilst the vehicle is in motion. This is essential to perform diagnostic, repair and maintenance services, at least until a solution is found for telematics access to the ‘connected car’.

Historically RMI data has been made available is unsuitable formats, hampering the repair process & causing significant losses in terms of time and efficiency. The new legislation intends to clarify that RMI and spare parts identification information shall also be provided in a machine readable and electronically processable form.

In vehicle data access will increase the competitiveness of automotive servicing in the aftermarket, offering vehicle owners a greater choice in the aftermarket care of their vehicles.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said, "This is fantastic news, and although not the end game it’s a significant step towards keeping the OBD port alive. The missing OBD connector would impact not just on garages but the entire spare parts supply chain including manufacturers, distributors, producers of diagnostic equipment and dedicated software for the OBD connector, as well as millions of consumers who would no longer have a competitive choice in vehicle servicing and repair. This positive step marks the next stage in our fight and we’ll keep lobbying until we successfully reach that end game.” The agreement will now need to be approved by the EP IMCO Committee before it is submitted for approval. If approved by the European Parliament, the new regulation will come into play from 1 September 2020.