Only use an OEM scan tool? No, say three groups

In response to recent industry commentary that automotive repair and service shops should only use original equipment manufacturing scan tools, three prominent industry groups put out a joint memo against the position.

The Equipment and Tool Institute (ETI), Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), and Auto Care Association issued a position paper last week that all three are unified in their stance that OEM and multi-brand tools should be available to shops and that they should be free to choose the tool they feel will work best.

“ETI members have been licensing and incorporating OEM diagnostic data, service information, and repair procedures into the development of millions of aftermarket scan tools used by both professional mechanical and collision repair customers for more than two decades,” the paper states. “Much of this data is currently held by ETI in a secure, cloud-based repository.”

It goes on to note that diagnostic tool companies are regularly bringing new products to market as the needs of the repair industry grows and changes. “These products are rigorously tested to ensure their performance in the course of vehicle repair,” the paper said. “There are a wide variety of multi-brand diagnostic tools available ranging from very basic, emissions-only, code reading devices to all-modules diagnostic systems that support ADAS calibrations.”

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Furthermore, having access to multi-brand scan tools, it explained, makes economical sense for repairers. “The investment in numerous individual OE tools can be cost-prohibitive and can present the potential for reduced efficiency depending on the learning curve.”

The memo ends by saying the three groups “believe that shops will be best served to have both OEM and multi-brand tool accessibility, enabling shops to choose the most appropriate solution for each repair.”

“This position statement makes it clear to the industry that consumers and repair facilities are best served when multi-brand scan tools are available,” said Paul McCarthy, AASA president and COO said in a statement announcing the paper.

“We have worked with OEM and aftermarket experts to develop our position, and we are confident in our stance,” added Brian Plott, executive director of the ETI.

Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association, highlighted the ability of the three groups to come together and agree on their stance.

“We are thrilled to support the entire repair community to ensure they are able to meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s diagnostic and vehicle maintenance environment,” he said in the announcement. “This position statement is a testament to our associations working in collaboration for the betterment of our industry.”

Automotive Tools