Vehicle manufacturers obliged to keep OBD port open for repair and maintenance information
New Type Approval legislation, scheduled to be introduced in Europe from September 2020, guarantees that the OBD port remains open for repair and maintenance information and that data should continue to be made available in an electronically processable format.
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) lobbied for the key piece of legislation in the Type Approval Regulation (EU) 2018/858 for a number of years.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has now confirmed that under UK law, vehicles will be obliged to keep the OBD port open for RMI and this information must be made available in an electronically processable format.
A statement by the DfT said: “We can confirm that the definition of OBD in Article 3(49) of Regulation (EU) 2018/858 will be applied in the UK, as it is in the EU.”
On the subject of SERMI, the department said: “If the EU agree a regulation and it applies prior to the end of the transition period, it will become part of Retained Law in the UK, possibly with some amendments to ensure it works in a UK context.
“If not, we will examine whether to introduce it into UK law in 2021, noting the comments received here that strongly support such introduction.”
For many years, IAAF has argued that a level playing field should be provided to ensure consumer freedom of choice when repairing and maintaining vehicles, campaigning for the provision of a standard diagnostic port.
As a result of the consultation outcome, when issuing type approvals, VCA will be legally required to act in line with the ruling and manufacturers are also obliged to comply.
Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “This is a huge step in the right direction for the independent automotive aftermarket and we’re thrilled that the legislative framework now ensures that independent operators can continue to service and maintain vehicles reliably and fairly.
“Not only is this good for competition, but it provides the consumer with freedom of choice when choosing where to take their vehicle for repair work.”