BETHESDA, Md. — Nearly 90 percent of U.S. vehicle owners and lessees believe car owners should have full access to and control of their vehicle's data, including maintenance and repair information, according to the results of a survey sponsored by the Auto Care Association (ACA).
The survey, conducted in August by Ipsos S.A., an independent market research firm, found 86 percent of respondents said vehicle owners should have access to driver and vehicle data, also known as telematics, and 88 percent believe a vehicle's owner should decide who has access to this data.
The survey results come amid industry debate over control of vehicle data and repair. Newer vehicles come equipped with telematic technologies, which enable real-time, wireless transmission of information related to driving behavior and vehicle health.
The ACA said it is concerned that vehicle manufacturers are gaining exclusive access to this vehicle data at the expense of consumers and independent repair shops.
"These results should be a wake-up call to auto makers," ACA President and CEO Bill Hanvey said.
"At a time when Americans don't see eye to eye on many issues, the results of this survey revealed a large majority of consumers support their right to gain full access to their vehicle data."
Ironically, nearly 72 percent of survey respondents said they were unaware of telematics. Once provided with a definition, 63 percent of respondents still said they were not very or not at all familiar with telematics.
Remote diagnosis of vehicle problems is one of the primary selling points of telematics, however, as of today, only vehicle manufacturers can take advantage of this information, according to the ACA, so vehicle owners have little to no choice when it comes to choosing where to service their vehicles.