Observer: Unlocking Repair Information Access

Jan. 1, 2020
IT STARTED OUT as a simple flat tire. But after trying to program the tire pressure monitoring system, this otherwise marginal repair effort set off a series of electronic roadblocks until the Nissan finally had to be hauled off to the dealership on
IT STARTED OUT as a simple flat tire. But after trying to program the tire pressure monitoring system, this otherwise marginal repair effort set off a series of electronic roadblocks until the Nissan finally had to be hauled off to the dealership on a flatbed truck. Is this a training issue or a genuine lack of repair information access?

These were some of the questions asked at the recent general meeting of the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) in Detroit in conjunction with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 2008 World Congress.

As vehicles evolve with more complex systems, it's important that independent repairers have access to the critical OEM repair data needed for something as innocuous as a flat tire, and NASTF is seeking to get the word out that it is a valuable resource and a conduit for providing the information.

Much of the problem, board members assert, lies in a lack of training for technicians.

"For the most part, OEMs are responding in a timely manner," NASTF Chairman Charlie Gorman says. He adds that accessing vehicle security information while maintaining the integrity of that same information is a delicate balance.

NASTF has put a number of safeguards in place and launched various initiatives to make sure that repair information is being shared fairly.

One of these is the Secure Data Release Model (SDRM), a data exchange system launched this year that coordinates automakers, independent repairers, law enforcement, locksmith associations and others to obtain security sensitive information, key codes, PIN numbers and immobilizer resets, among other information.

The SDRM can be accessed through a subscription fee — $50 for the background check and $100 per year.

At the meeting, a panel of OEMs and locksmiths discussed the SDRM, still in its infancy. The locksmiths in attendance alluded to software and other "back door" means sometimes used to access the same information, but stressed that the SDRM should be endorsed as a legitimate avenue.

Some shop owners are concerned that this model serves more to benefit the locksmith rather than the independent repairer, who is likely only looking for a one-time usage as opposed to a yearly subscription to vehicle security and immobilizer information. — Chris Miller

http://motorage.search-autoparts.com/motorage/Technical/Misfire-Detection/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/510743

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