The so-called ‘Right to Repair’ program has been in place for a number of years now. And the Automotive Industries Association of Canada wants to see how it’s shaping up.
The AIA wants to evaluate where the eight-year-old program is and what can be done to make the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard better. The agreement was designed to ensure that the automotive aftermarket had equal access to information on repairing original equipment. It allows service and repair shops to fix vehicles and conduct ‘flashes’ or updates.
France Daviault, senior director of stakeholder relations at the AIA, said the group’s goal is to “take stock of what we currently have (and) whether it’s working or not. So we want to make sure what we have in place is functional.”
Despite talk from technicians that CASIS has not served its purpose properly, the AIA is aware that a “gap” exists in the system. Daviault said, “when the CASIS standard was implemented, it seems to be where there has been an obvious gap … is that there wasn’t a very structured and robust communication plan back out the various stakeholders in the aftermarket that this had happened and what this would mean to them.”
This disconnect has led to some not even catching on to the terminology, she added. “Some shop owners have not heard of CASIS, whether it’s the term or concept. We knew in the last couple years that we had to do much more in terms of providing the various stakeholders information on CASIS.”
“The great thing about this survey is that it was built, in essence, by our stakeholders that are technicians and shop owners.”
France Daviault, AIA Canada
The AIA hopes to see themes in the responses so that larger-scale problems can be rectified, Daviault said. “The great thing about this survey is that it was built, in essence, by our stakeholders that are technicians and shop owners.”
And as the industry grows rapidly from a technological point of view, Daviault said, figuring out how to handle emerging technologies — including telematics, wireless data and predictive diagnosis — starts with “a strong foundation in the CASIS agreement.” When the industry is able to do that, she added, “we can start having the conversations about … what the future holds in terms of the sharing of repair and service information between the automakers and aftermarket (as) all these technologies keep getting developed.”
A positive “unintended consequence” of the project is the opening of the communication door between partners in the industry, according to Daviault. The AIA wants “to make sure that we are moving forward in a position of strength. This effort has not only achieved the goal of communicating more … but what it’s also done is bring the aftermarket industry together,” she said. “This particular project is bringing all the stakeholders within the aftermarket together and it’s allowing us to have those conversations about what the future looks like together.”