It’s a reliable bet that every word you read purveyed by the government-corporate nexus means its opposite. “Contributions” you’re forced to make; the “customer” who can’t say no.
And the Alliance for Automotive Innovation - which seeks to stifle that very thing.
Using fear to get keep people from asking any questions and just doing what they’re told they must to keep themselves saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe.
What is the AAI, then? It is an alliance, all right - of the car cartels, against you. Against innovation and for stagnation.
It is a political lobbying - and marketing - group that serves as a front for most of the major car companies, including General Motors, Ford and Honda - which wants to terrify you into agreeing with them that no one but one of their authorized dealers should be able to work on your car.
That you should not be able to work on your own car, in other words. But those words are never used, of course.
Instead, other words. Scary words.
The AAI funded a TeeVee ad campaign recently through another front, this one styled the Coalition for Safe and Secure Data that says - which shows, graphically - if you don’t agree to this then you’ll be raped by a stranger some dark and stormy night.
“Domestic violence advocates (sic) say a sexual predator could use (your car’s) data to stalk their victims. Pinpoint exactly where you are. Whether you are alone…”
Leaving aside the teeth-aching illiteracy - who advocates domestic violence? - we are left with this despicable narrative that Stranger Danger lurks everywhere - like the Wuflu - and you’d better be so scared of it that you “vote NO” (their all caps) on a ballot measure that would prohibit the car companies from electronically sealing the hood of your car by denying you - or any independent mechanic - access to the diagnostic data without which you cannot service any modern car.
This is not just a Massachusetts issue, either.
There is a national movement to render every car made the property of the car company that made it - even after they sold it.
By making it so only their authorized dealers can access the data stream necessary to perform almost repair beyond an oil and filter change - because almost everything else requires plugging the car in - not for electricity - but to communicate with its computer. Some new cars require this plugging in to change the battery; many will not accept a replacement part unless the proper coding/flashing rigamarole is followed and to do that, you need to be able to communicate with the car’s computer.
The car companies - hiding behind the AAI - want to deny that to you. Which amounts to denying you functional ownership of your car, since they assert ownership over the data and software which makes it go.
The same is happening with agricultural equipment. John Deere has been trying to assert ownership over the tractors it sold - after the sale - by making it so the tractor is electronically tethered to John Deere dealers.
You want it fixed? You take it there.
Massachusetts and other states have “right to repair” laws on the books - or pending to be written onto those books - and that’s what the AAI (and John Deere) have been fighting.
All cars made since the mid-1990s have a kind of open-source data port called OBD II, the acronym standing for OnBoard Diagnostics II. No matter the make or model - from the lowliest Hyundai to the haughtiest Mercedes Maybach - they all have the same universal port underneath the steering wheel, which accepts the same universal plug-in scan tool, which anyone can buy - and thus, use. Making it possible for anyone to download and read the “trouble codes” which you must have in order to know what’s wrong with the car and repair it - and then clear the codes once the trouble has been fixed.
The law also requires the car companies to make service data available to the people who own the cars they made, by making it available to the people who make the scanning tools - on the theory that they (the car companies) sold the car, including whatever code/data it contains.
OBD II came along after OBDI - which wasn’t universal. Different makes/models had different access methods and if you didn’t have the right scanning tools/access to the codes and what they meant, you couldn’t service the car. You had to take it to a dealer - who was the only one who had the scanning/diagnostic equipment.
There was an uproar over this, which is why OBD II replaced OBD I.
Now the AAI wants to stifle that innovation and create a kind of vehicular company town in which you may drive the car - so long as you pay to do so - but you never really own it because they control it. They hope to do this by using a loophole in existing right-to-repair laws that doesn’t say anything about access to wireless data.
In other words, by eliminating the physical OBD II port (or leaving it but rendering it largely useless) and communicating with the car wirelessly - as they already do, in many cases - the car companies want to lock you out of your own vehicle.
Or at least, lock you out from being able to do anything under the hood beyond looking at what's under it.
The fear-sell being used by the AAI is that if you don’t agree to being locked out, Stranger Danger will come in. The hacker-predator will get you. Like “the virus,” you cannot see it - and it’s probably not there - but you had better be very afraid of it.
The AAI says “It’s important to note that 99.9 percent of (opposition funding) comes from the Auto Care Association.”
This evil entity represents independent repair shops and parts sellers - those dastardly people who want to sell you service and parts rather than force you to pay them for service and parts.
And let you control your car - by deciding who gets to work on it.
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics - or anything else? Click on the "ask Eric" link and send 'em in!
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