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Right to Repair: Why Manufacturers Need to Let Third Parties Repair Their Own Vehicles

Right to Repair: Why Manufacturers Need to Let Third Parties Repair Their Own Vehicles

In recent years, vehicle manufacturers have increasingly implemented measures like “secure gateways” to restrict unauthorised diagnostic tools from accessing onboard systems, citing security concerns. This move has sparked a debate on the right to repair, with many arguing that it’s a tactic to monopolise vehicle repairs, forcing owners to rely exclusively on main dealers. This situation has financial implications for vehicle owners and raises questions about consumer rights and the competitive landscape of vehicle maintenance.

The Secure Gateway Controversy

Manufacturers have defended secure gateways as a necessary step to safeguard vehicle systems against unauthorised access, potentially preventing cyber-attacks. However, this approach has significant drawbacks for vehicle owners and independent repair shops. It effectively locks out third-party tools from diagnosing or repairing vehicles without going through official channels, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Companies like Jaltest have found ways to navigate this landscape by obtaining authorisation to connect to these secure gateways via the SGW unlocking module or developing bypass solutions, such as the soon-to-be-released bypass cable for FCA IVECO/FIAT vehicles. This innovation demonstrates a workaround to restrictive manufacturer policies, yet it also highlights the ongoing struggle for repair accessibility.

The Problems with Locking Down Vehicles

The implementation of secure gateways by manufacturers has several adverse effects:

  • Restricted Access: Owners are forced to either pay for manufacturer services or seek costly dealer tools, limiting the ability to perform repairs independently.
  • Overburdened OEM Workshops: As more vehicles require dealer repair services, official workshops may become overwhelmed, leading to long appointment wait times.
  • Increased Costs: Dealer prices for repairs are typically higher than those of independent shops, placing an additional financial burden on vehicle owners.
  • Questionable Security Justifications: While the security argument might hold for personal vehicles, it is less convincing for commercial vehicles, where theft is less of a concern.

Luckily, thanks to Jaltest being an authorised diagnostics tool, people now have more options other than going through the manufacturer thanks to the SGW unlocking module and upcoming bypass cable.

The Legislative Landscape

Recent legislative changes have begun to address these issues, mandating that manufacturers share repair information and allow third-party diagnostic tools to access vehicle systems. This shift acknowledges the importance of competition in the repair market and the rights of vehicle owners to choose where and how their vehicles are repaired.

The introduction of the SGW (security gateway) bypass cable from Jaltest is a direct response to these changes, enabling repair shops and vehicle owners to circumvent secure gateways legally. This development represents a significant victory for the right-to-repair movement, ensuring that independent repairs remain viable for vehicle maintenance.

The bypass cable is due to be released around the end of March this year.



The debate over secure vehicle gateways fundamentally concerns the balance between security and the right to repair. While manufacturers have legitimate concerns about protecting their vehicles’ systems, these measures should not come at the expense of owner rights and market competition. The right to repair is crucial for ensuring that vehicle owners have access to affordable and convenient repair options. As legislation evolves to support these rights, manufacturers must find ways to secure their vehicles without unduly restricting access to repairs.

Eclipse Automotive Technology is the UK’s leading supplier of commercial diagnostic tools. We pride ourselves in providing the best vehicle diagnostic tools and support to help you keep your fleet moving.

With a customer base in the UK and worldwide, we strive to deliver innovative diagnostic products and unrivalled telephone technical support.

Contact us today to learn more.

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