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Embedded telematics could be detrimental for independent repair shops: Auto Care Association

Published: March 17, 2016 | Bethesda,  MD

The Auto Care Association, a not-for-profit organization providing market intelligence and communications resources to  auto care members believes that the usage of vehicle telematics will keep the aftermarket repair shops out of the equation. Association’s SVP of Government Affairs Aaron Lowe testified on behalf of the association, the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality, and California Automotive Wholesalers Association before the California Senate Judiciary Committee, warning legislators about the impact of vehicle telematics on the auto care industry. 

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Aaron Lowe

Lowe told the committee that, “While the advent of telematics on late-model vehicles has the potential to provide significant benefits to consumers regarding how their vehicle is serviced, it also has the potential to unnecessarily distort the market, providing extensive control to the vehicle manufacturer on where and how car owners obtain repairs, ultimately disrupting the current competitive landscape for vehicle repair to the detriment of small business and consumers.

“Specifically, armed with the extensive data about a customer’s vehicle combined with the means to communicate directly with the driver in real time, the vehicle manufacturer has the ability to steer the motorists to the dealership or to a service establishment that may be a strong purchaser of their parts and information. This situation represents a major change in the repair marketplace.”

Lowe called for manufacturers to provide more transparency and control to consumers regarding the data that is being sent by the car. He further urged the car companies to work with third parties to develop a system that permits data from embedded systems to be shared with responsible entities with the consent of the car owner. The longer-term solution, and Auto Care Association’s position, is that OEMs need to provide a standardized platform whereby the telematics system could be accessed by entities other than the car company. 

Source: Auto Care Association

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