Final OBD info rule signed
WASHINGTON-Before she left June 27 as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, Christine Whitman signed the Service Information Final Rule requiring the availability of emissions-service information for the automotive aftermarket.
Ms. Whitman's action amended and finalized the 1995 regulations, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) said. The amendments will provide access to the service data by making it publicly available on the Internet.
ASA said the final rule bolsters its 2002 agreement with auto makers to release all emissions and non-emissions service information to the aftermarket. Auto makers are to comply by Aug. 31.
In 2001, the EPA proposed changes to the 1995 rule to give the aftermarket the necessary service information and diagnostic equipment needed to perform emissions-related repairs on vehicles with onboard diagnostics (OBD). Vehicles from model year 1996 and newer have the OBD systems, which alert drivers when an emissions-control component is not working properly.
As part of the final rule, emissions-related service and training information will be available online; aftermarket equipment companies will have the information to develop vehicle reprogramming capabilities; enhanced diagnostic information will be available to the aftermarket scan tool manufacturers; manufacturer-specific diagnostic tools will be available for sale; manufacturers will be required to provide supplemental OBD information needed for emissions-related repairs; and service information for heavy-duty vehicle and engine makers also will be available.
``ASA has supported, for some time, the ASA-auto maker agreement, the National Automotive Service Task Force and the EPA working together to ensure independent repairers have the same information as new car dealers,'' said Bob Redding, representative for the ASA.
Becky MacDicken, director of government affairs for the Tire Industry Association, said the group ``supports the auto manufacturers providing emissions information to independent tire dealers who perform automotive service and repairs. We will continue to push for all service information and tools to be provided in an affordable, timely manner to our independent dealers.''
Sema/ITE show adds sections
DIAMOND BAR, Calif.-Several new sections have been added to this fall's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)/International Tire Expo (ITE) in Las Vegas.
Show organizers said the new sections-which will be adjacent to each other-have been created to make it easier for buyers to navigate the show floor. The new sections include Car Care & Accessories, Tools & Equipment and Business Services.
Diamond Bar-based SEMA said returning sections, in addition to the ITE, include Wheels & Performance Tires; Mobile Electronics; Performance Marine; Racing & Performance; Restoration Marketplace; Restyling & Accessories Center; Street Rod Alley; and Trucks, SUVs, Truck Caps & Accessories.
More details about the SEMA/ITE Show 2003 are available at the association's www.semashow.com Web site.
Troubleshooting program on Web
BEDFORD, Texas-A free downloadable program for electrical troubleshooting is available through a collaborative effort between AutoIPC (AIPC) and Atech.
The program's purpose, according to the Automotive Service Association (ASA), is to develop electrical troubleshooting skill in both technicians and students. It is free for personal use or in a classroom, though all other copyright restrictions are maintained, Bedford-based ASA said. The program can be downloaded at the AIPC Web site (www.autoipc.org).
It is a variation of the Atech Skills for Electrical/Electronic Troubleshooting (SEET) program. That variation, ASA said, allows faulted circuits to be displayed and diagnosed using standard virtual instruments. The program as downloaded contains one faulted circuit. The association said new faults for the circuit and new circuits will be made available for download periodically on AutoIPC's Web site.
Car Care Council gets recognition
BETHESDA, Md.-The Car Care Council's ``Be Car Care Aware'' campaign has been elected to the 2003 Associations Advance America Honor Roll, a national awards competition.
Sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives, the awards program recognizes groups that have innovative projects in education, skills training, standards-setting, business and social innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship and community service, said the Bethesda-based Car Care Council.
The council's ``Be Car Care Aware'' campaign is aimed at educating consumers about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. The council said it hopes to increase awareness among consumers through marketing and public relations efforts that will then produce increased profitability for the automotive aftermarket as well as conserve energy and improve highway safety.
`Wheels TV' network due
ACTON, Mass.-Automotive Networks L.L.C. plans to launch Wheels TV, a national television network focused exclusively on cars, motorcycles and trucks.
Wheels TV, which is slated to air in the fourth quarter this year, will feature magazine and lifestyle programs, documentaries, new-vehicle profiles, how-to shows, travel, safety and recall alerts in addition to news, movies and TV action and comedy series.
Automotive Networks has been producing automotive programming for major networks and the auto industry for about 15 years, the company said. Acton-based Wheels TV operates as a subsidiary of Automotive Networks, and it was developed in cooperation with Global Television Network Ltd.
With the new automotive network, Automotive Networks said it hopes to reach an economically coveted audience with ``substantial buying power, spending over $700 billion each year on vehicles, aftermarket parts and auto accessories.''