The aim of this report is to assess the operation of the system of access to vehicle repair and maintenance information (RMI) in the EU, as well as its effect on competition, the Internal Market, environment and safety.
The ‘Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the operation of the system of access to vehicle repair and maintenance information’ was adopted on 9 December 2016 in accordance with Regulation 715/2007 (the ‘Euro 5’ Regulation).
Vehicle manufacturers are required under European legislation to ensure that independent operators have easy, restriction-free and standardised access to vehicle RMI under the ‘Euro 5’ Regulation and related implementing and amending acts.
This report provides Parliament and Council with insight into the impact that the requirement for access to vehicle RMI has had on relevant stakeholders including repairers, parts producers, distributors and publishers of technical information, as well as vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) themselves. After assessing and analysing the current state of operation of the system of access to vehicle RMI in relation to the Internal Market, competition and the environment, the report draws conclusions on the way forward on a topic that is essential for independent operators (IOs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and consumers.
The report identifies 5 possible areas for change and improvement of the RMI legislation:
- A review of the reference to the principle of ‘unrestricted and standardised access in a non-discriminatory manner’ in the obligation for manufacturers to provide access to vehicle RMI.
- Clarification of which information may be considered to be security-related as opposed to safety-related - the introduction of the SERMI scheme should clarify the situation.
- An improvement to the procedure for filing complaints before the type-approval authorities.
- Access to information on data on vehicle parts, as identified by the VIN and through a common structured process.
- Adaptation to technical progress.
There are other subjects identified in the report which are outside the scope of type-approval legislation, namely:
- The establishment of fee levels.
- Guidelines for contracting between OEMs and specialist intermediaries.
- Guidance on practical and mutually-acceptable contract negotiation practices, including: - the examination of cancellation and territorial clauses - the appropriate fees that can be charged - the appropriate metrics on which to base fees
- Best practice for timescales required to negotiate contracts and reach agreements.
- Contractual clauses to ensure adequate protection and use of data.
The report concludes that the implementation of the RMI Regulations has contributed to the overall improvements in access to RMI in recent years. On the basis of the 5 areas for change and improvement mentioned above, the Commission will consider the steps needed to improve the operation of the system of access to vehicle RMI.
In addition, the Commission encourages both OEMs and IOs to continue their discussions in order to reach agreement on the subjects identified in the RMI study which fall outside the scope of type-approval legislation.