You now have access to OE level diagnostics

May 12, 2017
Right to Repair MOU compliance with 2018 model year vehicles provides the auto aftermarket with full access to OE diagnostic systems.

At this year’s ETI ToolTech conference, held in New Orleans April 24-28, one of the segments titled “OEM Right to Repair Panel” featured an overview of how automakers are complying with the national memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Right to Repair. Representatives from several OEs were on-hand to share brief presentations for their respective brands, including what they’ve done to provide the aftermarket with access to the same information as their dealers.

The OEs represented on the panel included General Motors, Honda, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen. In addition, moderator and Drew Technologies President Brian Herron confirmed BMW, Fiat/Chrysler, Ford and Volvo are also currently compliant.

(For more information, including where to find diagnostics information for each participating OE, visit

A brief history

The MOU states automakers must be voluntarily compliant (or, in the case of the state of Massachusetts, mandated) to provide access to OE level data to consumers and the automotive aftermarket. This include access to diagnostic and repair information, at the dealer level, for 2002 and newer vehicles; as well as pass-thru support beginning with 2018 model year vehicles.

This effort means OEM diagnostic systems must be made available to anyone who requests it, meeting the following criteria, according to Herron:

  • Available for a reasonable price
  • Coverage and information at the same “content level” the dealership has access to
  • Accessible using a pass-thru interface (such as J2534, RP1210 or ISO 22900)
  • Provide 100 percent coverage, except for “recall” tools

This comes on the cusp of the release of 2018 model year vehicles, which will hit dealer lots in the next couple months. So, why does this matter to you?

Full coverage

Every automaker presenting at the ToolTech conference showed the list of all models and model years covered -- and it goes well beyond the original 2018 model year agreement -- sometimes as far back as 1990.

The range of coverage from each manufacturer varies, but a few examples include: Both diagnostic information and pass-thru capabilities as far back as model year 1999 for Volkswagen vehicles, diagnostic information for Toyota and Honda vehicles as far back as 1990, and pass-thru capabilities to reprogram vehicles as far back as 2001.

This means you, as an independent repair shop, also have full access to all of this diagnostic information, and the ability to complete reflashing or reprogramming without outsourcing or turning a customer away.

This isn’t to say you may not already have access to some (or all) of the information you need to diagnose a vehicle. But, this access to information will be a substantial improvement for many shops.

As mentioned above, you will still have to pay for it. But, you now have access to everything a dealer has access to. Relatively standard across makes, automakers provide a variety of subscription options – this may be one day, one week, monthly, or annually.

The tone at ETI ToolTech continued to focus on encouraging automakers to work with the aftermarket, versus admonition for withholding information or being difficult to collaborate with.

And this accommodation makes sense for everyone involved. Ultimately, having access to this information benefits someone we all can agree deserves it: the customer.

About the Author

Erica Schueller | Editorial Director | Commercial Vehicle Group

Erica Schueller is the Editorial Director of the Endeavor Commercial Vehicle Group. The commercial vehicle group includes the following brands: American Trucker, Bulk Transporter, Fleet Maintenance, FleetOwner, Refrigerated Transporter, and Trailer/Body Builders brands.

An award-winning journalist, Schueller has reported and written about the vehicle maintenance and repair industry her entire career. She has received accolades for her reporting and editing in the commercial and automotive vehicle fields by the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA), the International Automotive Media Competition (IAMC), the Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) Azbee Awards.

Schueller has received recognition among her publishing industry peers as a recipient of the 2014 Folio Top Women in Media Rising Stars award, acknowledging her accomplishments of digital content management and assistance with improving the print and digital products in the Vehicle Repair Group. She was also named one Women in Trucking’s 2018 Top Women in Transportation to Watch.

She is an active member of a number of industry groups, including the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC),  the Auto Care Association's Young Auto Care Networking Group, GenNext, and Women in Trucking.

In December 2018, Schueller graduated at the top of her class from the Waukesha County Technical College's 10-week professional truck driving program, earning her Class A commercial driver's license (CDL).  

She has worked in the vehicle repair and maintenance industry since 2008.

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