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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Scotty is not happy with Subaru. Does he have his information correct? Does he have a point or is Subaru on firm footing? What should Subaru do?



Subaru disables telematics in Massachusetts 2022. Starlink also disabled. If you thought renewing Starlink was complicated, lets see how this turns out in any of our states.

 

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I'm not sure which is worse: podcast-type people stating their opinion like its the only one that matters, or mainstream news tailoring sensationalized narratives to increase viewership. It's difficult to find a source that fully examines any issue without bias; who has that kind of time?

Admittedly the court doc is way too long for me to read without a nap or two along the way. Did Subaru ever say they're permanently disabling the system? On the RTR voting info for MA state election the verbiage states the manufacturer would have to equip the vehicle sold in MA with a standardized open access data platform; disabling the system is the easiest path to compliance.
Imho Subaru wasn't given much choice and their decision will likely lead to more court time to determine a path forward. If other states get onboard, Subaru has some incentive to change their decision. There's little benefit for Subaru to develop this open access data platform just for MA-sold vehicles. They're definitely not going to just hand over access to ALL data, some of which is likely proprietary.
Maybe the voters weren't fully aware of the consequences of their vote, but they made their choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I'm not sure which is worse: podcast-type people stating their opinion like its the only one that matters, or mainstream news tailoring sensationalized narratives to increase viewership. It's difficult to find a source that fully examines any issue without bias; who has that kind of time?

Admittedly the court doc is way too long for me to read without a nap or two along the way. Did Subaru ever say they're permanently disabling the system? On the RTR voting info for MA state election the verbiage states the manufacturer would have to equip the vehicle sold in MA with a standardized open access data platform; disabling the system is the easiest path to compliance.
Imho Subaru wasn't given much choice and their decision will likely lead to more court time to determine a path forward. If other states get onboard, Subaru has some incentive to change their decision. There's little benefit for Subaru to develop this open access data platform just for MA-sold vehicles. They're definitely not going to just hand over access to ALL data, some of which is likely proprietary.
Maybe the voters weren't fully aware of the consequences of their vote, but they made their choice.
What can I say, Scotty is Scotty. the issue remains and I was hoping someone on the forum would have deeper insight into the tech as well as the options for manufacturers. I think it is likely that the "right to repair" will remain in some form. How manufacturers handle the issue is another matter. I hope to have some time latter on in the week to do some additional research.
 

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I think it is likely that the "right to prevail" will remain in some form. How manufacturers handle the issue is another matter. I hope to have some time latter on in the week to do some additional research.
I was deep into this a couple of years ago and I intend to do the same and dig into this again later this week. Just as a suggestion you may want to look into John Deere Right to Repair for more insight as to some of the origins on this issue.
 

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What can I say, Scotty is Scotty. the issue remains and I was hoping someone on the forum would have deeper insight into the tech as well as the options for manufacturers. I think it is likely that the "right to repair" will remain in some form. How manufacturers handle the issue is another matter. I hope to have some time latter on in the week to do some additional research.
Scotty is just like every other podcaster out there (yes its a blanket statement but I challenge anyone to name a podcaster that doesn't fit the bill). They're dangerous because people hear that authoritative podcast voice and whatever is said becomes gospel.

I'm glad I'm not the policymaker on these issues. The idea of rtr is great. It gives the smaller guy a chance. However, with products as complex as a vehicle, iPhone, etc, how can the manufacturer be sure the smaller guy is able to do the repair as well as the company who built it? The easy answer is for the manufacturer to share data but there's a lot more to it than that. How do they share it? What does this standardized platform look like? Once the data is shared its value diminishes. It will be copied. Cheaply built knockoffs will spring up. Product development $ down the drain. Even then will the small guy be able to do that same repair if its not something they're proficient at? After those repairs are made does the manufacturer still have to warranty the product? So many questions... easier to pull the plug until they're answered.
 

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I'm glad I'm not the policymaker on these issues. The idea of rtr is great. It gives the smaller guy a chance. However, with products as complex as a vehicle, iPhone, etc, how can the manufacturer be sure the smaller guy is able to do the repair as well as the company who built it? The easy answer is for the manufacturer to share data but there's a lot more to it than that. How do they share it? What does this standardized platform look like? Once the data is shared its value diminishes. It will be copied. Cheaply built knockoffs will spring up. Product development $ down the drain. Even then will the small guy be able to do that same repair if its not something they're proficient at? After those repairs are made does the manufacturer still have to warranty the product? So many questions... easier to pull the plug until they're answered.
I can only broad brush this at the moment but all of your comments are valid and on point which is the crux of the problem. After the product is developed and in production, manufacturers typically spend a tremendous amount of money on training, service instruction materials, special tools, diagnostic equipment, TSBs, etc. for a host of reasons that includes safety, reliability, costumer satisfaction and product liability. This also includes national and international technical data access and technical department contacts. Opening the availability of the service materials, tools and equipment to anyone that can afford it may but certainly not always cause more problems. This is usually at the customers expense. If you are not an "authorized" service center you have to know when you are getting in over your head.
 

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Scotty is just like every other podcaster out there (yes its a blanket statement but I challenge anyone to name a podcaster that doesn't fit the bill). They're dangerous because people hear that authoritative podcast voice and whatever is said becomes gospel.
Scotty's car repair videos are often informative as long as you understand his biases. He loves most Toyotas and Hondas (except turbos - he hates all GDI turbos); he hates all German cars, Korean cars, most US manufacturers' cars, and any car made in Mexico. Intensely dislikes electric cars and hybrids. He thinks you're "stupid" if you buy new.

A couple weeks ago, he called me "stupid' in three different videos because I had bought a (New! - first "stupid") (Overpriced! - second "stupid") (Hybrid! - third "stupid") Lexus.

He goes off the rails when he bloviates about something "bad" a manufacturer has done.

IMO, Subaru did the only thing it could do in response to Massachusetts' RTR law. But, if you listen to Scotty, Subaru is being "sneaky" and "sleazy."

I stopped going to "independent mechanics" (Scotty's heroes) 20 years ago. For two reasons. First, I have extremely reliable dealer service departments - one of whom I have been doing business with for 30 years with never an issue). Second, with all the electronics in modern cars, I'm not sure I want an independent mechanic working on any of my cars.

In bygone days (when cars had carburetors, points, and condensers, and the only electronic thing was the radio), I did much of my own mechanical work. But today, I'm not even thinking about trying to do something more complicated than an oil change. Nor do I suspect many independent mechanics are properly schooled in all the variations in electronics from manufacturer to manufacturer.

YMMV.
 

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An article I read today stated the issue actually was, Subaru could never deliver on the requirements of the RTR bill in the time frame required. They had no choice but to remove the starlink system at this time. I'll find it and link it here, it was probably Torque News iirc.
 

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Here it is.
Thanks for the article link. What I don't understand yet is how making Subaru telematics open source benefits RTR? Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I'm not sure I would want just anyone having access to all the health data that my car generates and is transmitted to Subaru/Starlink including GPS location. I'm sure I'm missing something here but right now this sounds like serious overreach.
 

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Thanks for the article link. What I don't understand yet is how making Subaru telematics open source benefits RTR? Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I'm not sure I would want just anyone having access to all the health data that my car generates and is transmitted to Subaru/Starlink including GPS location. I'm sure I'm missing something here but right now this sounds like serious overreach.
The bill specifies any data collected by the vehicle and transmitted to the oem or their dealers need be shareable to consumers and independent shops.

I agree with you, I don't see the benefit here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The bill specifies any data collected by the vehicle and transmitted to the oem or their dealers need be shareable to consumers and independent shops.

I agree with you, I don't see the benefit here.
some data involves diagnostics, but there are other means than starlink to read that data. the user information can be used by OEM to develop marketing, features and learn about their user habits so fine tune what changes in future vehicles may be considered. I do not see how that has anything to do with repairing the vehicle. I am open to learning more about this issue, but at this point I suspect that legislators wrote a bad bill. Maybe we can hear from a independent mechanic on this issue.
 

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The bill specifies any data collected by the vehicle and transmitted to the oem or their dealers need be shareable to consumers and independent shops.

I agree with you, I don't see the benefit here.
Like a typical /.'r, only reading the summary ;)

This part is confusing. Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc, all send telemetry and crash analytics back to the mothership in order to improve their product and I have yet to see any of it. How is Subaru sending this data back and NOT sharing it any different?

Maybe we just need RTR for Windows, apps, etc, laws in MA in order to prevent this from happening.
 

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Like a typical /.'r, only reading the summary ;)

This part is confusing. Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc, all send telemetry and crash analytics back to the mothership in order to improve their product and I have yet to see any of it. How is Subaru sending this data back and NOT sharing it any different?

Maybe we just need RTR for Windows, apps, etc, laws in MA in order to prevent this from happening.
Not sure what you mean by "typical /.'r" maybe I'm getting old. I merely referenced the article Iinked for the explanation. I get the useful data, like mileage, diagnostics, error codes...etc. but a lot of coded data in vehicles contains intellectual property developed by oems, that really isn't useful to an end user or repair shop, probably not even the dealer except to communicate with the SSM.
 

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I was stating that I was like a typical person on Slashdot, I just read the headline/summary. Nerd joke and only poking fun at myself.

I was agreeing with you. Why this data MUST be shared with the consumer is beyond me considering no one else has to share this type of data.
 

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Isn't separating out what is needed to repair a vehicle versus IP what the law begins to do however? Work on separating out the data OEMs. Anything that pushes back the 'walled garden/micropayment era' approach to everything digital nowadays is good in my book, even if imperfect. The era of removing digital rights to content (Apple), services being removed from hardware (Roku, Google, Amazon), or BMW subscription-based features usually ends up being bad for the consumer.

It is already a problem that OEMs code licenses to individuals, making RTR a law in name only for many small shops since individual mechanics can't afford the 20K for each OEM software license. Had to take an 8 year-old Focus to the dealer for PCM work because of this; none of the local shops had a mechanic with the license since it really isn't cost effective for a general shop that may need the software a couple of times of year for each brand. There should be no reason why I need to take an 8 year-old economy car to the dealer for any work. Ended up costing 10% of what the car cost new for a new PCM (they wouldn't just reflash).
 

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Couldn't you just buy the MA vehicle and then take it across state lines to have the system re-enabled?
I read most of the brief, it's pretty interesting but the crux of the courtroom argument is:
On the specific points that Mr. Nadolenco raised, I
mean, we really fall back on the text of these provisions that
he's talking about, that make inoperative provision of the
Motor Vehicle Safety Act applies only to devices installed in
compliance with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard.
So if it's required by a safety standard and then
that's rendered inoperative, yes, that's covered by the
statute. But if it's this data access control that actually
isn't covered by the vehicle safety standard, then the
make-inoperative provision doesn't apply.
The same goes to the Clean Air Act's anti-tampering
prohibition, which talks about rendering inoperative devices
that are themselves required by the Act's emissions standards,
not to data access controls that manufacturers have added on
top of those federally required devices.
And I just want to make sure before we end this
argument that, we again point out that the Clean Air Act claim
is kind of extraordinary in that there actually is a provision
in the law that mandates open data access for emissions control
devices. This is 42 U.S.C. section 7521(m)(5). This provision
requires manufacturers to provide to any person engaged in
repair services any and all information required for those
services.
And the implementing regulations say that no
information may be withheld to an independent repair shop if a
manufacturer provides that same information to its franchise
dealers or other favorable repair shops
I really like this judge's quote here, but it's a cherry pick:
And the thing that bothers me here is, I'm back to the
larger question that I raised, I just don't know what this
initiative means. I have no idea. I shouldn't say "no idea."
I have some idea. But that will benefit from a development I
suppose of the record here. That is, discovery goes both sides
on this activity, I think.
 

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I'm not sure which is worse: podcast-type people stating their opinion like its the only one that matters, or mainstream news tailoring sensationalized narratives to increase viewership. It's difficult to find a source that fully examines any issue without bias; who has that kind of time?

Admittedly the court doc is way too long for me to read without a nap or two along the way. Did Subaru ever say they're permanently disabling the system? On the RTR voting info for MA state election the verbiage states the manufacturer would have to equip the vehicle sold in MA with a standardized open access data platform; disabling the system is the easiest path to compliance.
Imho Subaru wasn't given much choice and their decision will likely lead to more court time to determine a path forward. If other states get onboard, Subaru has some incentive to change their decision. There's little benefit for Subaru to develop this open access data platform just for MA-sold vehicles. They're definitely not going to just hand over access to ALL data, some of which is likely proprietary.
Maybe the voters weren't fully aware of the consequences of their vote, but they made their choice.
I would prefer as open as possible. We're paying for these things with our money, we should have access and the ability to repair like a dealer would, otherwise we really don't own all of the car. It might as well be a rental or lease, which is probably where we're going as car prices outstrip inflation even more.
 

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Data rights are the new money making stream ... turning capabilities (that are built in) on or off will make billions.

So, both ways, eh ... Free the Data ... try and lock me out and sooner or later I will have a chance to get even.
 
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