Equipment and Tool Institute, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, and Auto Care Association Announce Unified Position on Automotive Scan Tools

August 11, 2021
By Camille Sheehan

In memo released to the automotive aftermarket industry, partner organizations reinforce that repair shops will be best served to have both OEM and multi-brand tool accessibility.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., BETHESDA, Md., and FARMINGTON HILLS, M.I. – In a position statement to the automotive aftermarket industry, the Equipment and Tool Institute (“ETI”), Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (“AASA”), and Auto Care Association have taken a unified position on multi-brand scan tools in the aftermarket space following significant commentary and debate surrounding use of multi-brand versus original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”) scan tools. The memo concludes, “…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.”

The position statement solidifies the three organizations’ position on practices and standards in common diagnostic processes and was produced after consultation with subject matter experts in both OE scanning and multi-brand aftermarket tools. Co-signer ETI’s 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. Much of this data is currently held by ETI in a secure, cloud-based repository.

“We are proud to work directly with Auto Care and AASA in the development of this critically important statement,” said Brian Plott, Executive Director of Equipment and Tool Institute. “We have worked with OEM and aftermarket experts to develop our position, and we are confident in our stance.”  

“This position statement makes it clear to the industry that consumers and repair facilities are best served when multi-brand scan tools are available,” commented Paul McCarthy, AASA President and COO. "This is a significant statement to the automotive industry, underscored by the signatories of the three leading associations.”

Bill Hanvey, President and CEO of Auto Care Association had this to say about the position statement and unified endorsement of the three associations “We are thrilled to support the entire repair community to ensure it is able to meet the demands of todays and tomorrow’s diagnostic and vehicle maintenance environment. This position statement is a testament to our associations working in collaboration for the betterment of our industry.”

Multi-brand scan tools make economic sense for collision and mechanical repair and offer a user interface of common navigation and operational flow, providing efficiency for the user. The investment in numerous individual OE tools can be cost prohibitive and can present the potential for reduced efficiency, depending on the learning curve. If repair shops are required to have OE tools for each brand, consumers may experience price increases for even standard repairs.

This position also is supported by state Right to Repair laws and industry agreements, along with the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, as well as current Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) service information regulations.