14 December 2023 – Ten European associations, representing independent service providers in the automotive aftermarket, call on the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to deliver legislation on access to in-vehicle data.
Read the letter below or download here.
Dear President von der Leyen,
We are writing to emphasize the critical need for prompt action on the pro-consumer and pro-competitive access to in-vehicle data legislation. While we appreciated your commitment to bringing forward this legislation in Commissioner Breton’s letter on your behalf in April, we are dismayed by another reported delay in adopting the proposal.
Seven years of evidence-gathering by the European Commission clearly document a quasi-monopolistic market structure, hindering consumer welfare and impeding smart, sustainable, and safe mobility in Europe. Recent rulings by the European Court of Justice have underscored the urgency of addressing anti-competitive practices by vehicle manufacturers1.
Affordability of mobility is paramount for Europeans for whom 22% of their second-largest household cost goes on vehicle repair and maintenance. Connected vehicles in Europe, expected to reach 115 million by 2030, present an opportunity for cost savings and a range of societal benefits, including smarter, safer and cleaner mobility. The electromobility revolution will be highly dependent on vehicle-generated data for smart and seamless charging and the integration of the vehicle into the energy system.
However, the current market structure, dominated by proprietary telematics systems, hampers competition. Research conducted for the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Region I, representing Europe’s drivers, found that in the absence of an EU regulatory framework that provides equal access to data generated by the vehicle owner/user, potential annual losses for the independent automotive aftermarket and consumers would be €26Bn by 2030 and €95Bn by 20502.
We acknowledge concerns raised by vehicle manufacturers but understand that the Commission intends to pursue a principles-based approach to its regulatory proposal, and therefore not overly prescriptive, nor compromising road safety or cybersecurity, and aligning with the principles of the Internal Market. Considering this, we endorse the Commission’s thoughtful and balanced approach and regret the repeated and wilful misrepresentation by ACEA of both the benefits of the initiative and the policy asks of the independent sector.
The draft proposal has successfully navigated Better Regulation steps, but a crucial deadline looms with the implementation of UNECE Regulation 155 on 7th July 2024. Without a regulated EU access framework, the shutdown of the Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) Port poses a threat to independent service providers and the existing European data services market, which to date has depended on access via the OBD Port as a stop-gap solution in the absence of viable alternatives.
While the new legislation may not be enacted within this timeframe, the adoption by the Commission of proposal for a sector-specific regulation would be a positive signal, which would prevent significant market disruption. Further delays in adopting a proposal could harm not just the OBD-based services market, but also the development of new over-the-air services and hold back Europe’s global market competitiveness.
Respectfully, we urge the Commission to prioritise competition, investment, and innovation by promptly adopting this crucial legislation. European consumers and businesses deserve timely access to smarter, safer, and more sustainable mobility.
We appreciate the great many demands on your time, but we would also hereby like to request a meeting with you personally to discuss this critical issue for the future growth of our entire European sector.
The Undersigning Associations
ADPA – AIRC – CECRA – CLEPA – EGEA – ETRMA – FIA – FIGIEFA – Insurance Europe – Leaseurope
1 Case C-296/22 ATU & Carglass vs. FCA Italy and Case C-319/22 GVA vs. Scania.
2 Extract from The automotive digital transformation and the economic impacts of limited data access, conducted by QUANTALYSE for the FIA Region I, September 2023.