November 1st, 2022, Ottawa, ON – Yesterday, the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA Canada) appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology to speak to Bill C-244, An Act to amend the Copyright Act (diagnosis, maintenance and repair). AIA Canada advocated for amendments to the bill that will help to address systemic issues around vehicle data ownership, allowing Canadians contending with higher prices due to skyrocketing inflation the opportunity to compare prices and choose where they get their vehicle repaired.
“Canadians are already stretched with cost-of-living increases. We know of many examples where an inability to service a vehicle at the auto repair shop of their choice has resulted in increased costs for consumers,” said Alana Baker, Senior Director of Government Relations for AIA Canada. "From having to tow a car to the dealership because an independent auto repair shop doesn’t have access to vehicle data, or being pushed towards higher-cost parts manufactured by the automakers, most Canadians haven’t factored these new realities into their budget.”
Every new vehicle sold in Canada generates copious amounts of data on how the vehicle is performing. This data is then transmitted, wirelessly, to car manufacturers, allowing them control over who has access.
“In the past, if you had engine problems, you called around to a few auto repair shops who provided quotes to compare. You’d then make a choice about who to give your business to, whether that was the local mom and pop shop that had serviced generations of family vehicles, or the garage down the street that could offer the quickest turnaround,” said Baker.
Without intervention, automakers will continue to grow their role as gatekeepers for access to repair and diagnostic data, increasing their ability to control the terms through which independent auto shops access this critical data. What this means is that vehicle manufacturers - and not consumers - will determine who can repair vehicles, thus risking shop closures, compromising thousands of jobs, and limiting access for consumers to an affordable repair market.
“For a truly open, fair and competitive Canadian automotive aftermarket, consumers need to be protected by legislation that reflects the new reality of vehicles in Canada. This includes giving the aftermarket direct, remote and real-time access to diagnostic data,” concluded Baker.
About the Automotive Industries Association of Canada
We represent, support and lead innovation in Canada's $32.2-billion auto care sector. With more than 4,000 members across the country, our vision, research, training programs and advocacy supports Canada’s collision and mechanical sectors. Our best practices for the auto care industry help our members keep Canada’s fleet of almost 29.8-million vehicles on the road.
Whether you’ve been in a collision or require maintenance, our members help vehicles last longer, pollute less and keep drivers safer by offering Canadians any product or service a vehicle may need after it rolls off the dealership’s lot.
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