Proposed EU legislation on vehicle type-approval regulation, which seeks to ensure that crucial repair data from a vehicle’s data system is available to independent garages, has been welcomed by trade associations. European auto parts body FIGIEFA said provisions on the on-board diagnostics (OBD) connector and access to repair and maintenance information (RMI) represent “a huge step forward for the aftermarket regarding access to in-vehicle data” and will increase competitiveness for customers. The organisations say that some vehicle manufacturers have started to introduce measures which prevent independent operators accessing the OBD port - and that the unstable format of RMI made available to independent repairers often hampers the repair process, resulting in increased time and cost. Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) chief executive Wendy Williamson (pictured) said: “Although not the end game it’s a significant step towards keeping the OBD port alive.” The agreement needs to be given the green light by the European Parliament’s IMCO Committee - if it is then approved by the parliament itself, the new regulation will come into force from 1 September 2020. FIGIEFA president Hartmut Röhl warned the EU Commission “must now find a solution on how to address the telematics access to the ‘connected car’, and we call upon it to start working in 2018 on the interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform”.