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AASA Defends Freedom of Repair Choice

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April 26, 2016—The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) facilitated discussions to develop strategies and processes to safeguard motorists’ freedom of repair choice as automotive technology advances.

“This is the first step to ensure that the aftermarket is an active participant in the repair and maintenance of tomorrow’s vehicles and to protect the opportunity for entrepreneurial people to provide repair choices to the public,” said Bill Long, AASA president and chief operating officer. “We have gathered scientists and engineers from leading suppliers along with industry policy experts to advise on the technical and business model solutions for the aftermarket related to connected cars, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and more.”

Participants at the AASA Telematics Technical Solutions Meeting on April 22 developed the following four-step program for securing a path forward for the aftermarket:

  • Common Goal: Access to the vehicle ensuring freedom of choice to the motorist for vehicle service, repair and product selections
  • Awareness: Drive awareness and dialogue regarding the challenge of ensuring freedom of repair choice in light of new vehicle technologies
  • Structure and Process: Create the structure and process for collaboration to develop solutions to the challenges of freedom of repair choice
  • Training and Certification: Train technicians and certify independent shops to access vehicle data while protecting privacy

Meeting participants also developed a process to deploy a cross section of experts to create the building blocks for ensuring freedom of repair choice. The technical workgroup will focus on telematics standards and cybersecurity protocol. The regulatory framework group will address data privacy principles and software-embedded copyrights.

“These experts will explore portal and/or cloud models for universal vehicle data transmission and develop legislative options as a contingency solution,” Long stated. “AASA’s goal is to engage technological expertise with the advocacy efforts to present practical steps to ensure that the independent aftermarket has a path forward in the age of advanced vehicle technology.”

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