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Independent garages hit back over car crime claim

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has hit back at claims from the press that access to vehicle manufacturer technical information is the cause of a rise in car crime.

Stuart James, Retail Motor Industry IGA director, said the claim is “entirely false and unfounded”.

The press article stated that a recent spate of car thefts where the criminals connect a device to the vehicle’s diagnostic system, and then reprogramme a blank key to start the car is partly due to EU Block Exemption rules that allow independent garages access to this information to service vehicles.

James said: “Although the European legislation states that all garages should have access to vehicle manufacturer’s technical information, security information has still not been made available to the independent garage sector.

“Therefore it is impossible for reputable independent garages to be in anyway linked to this spate of car thefts.”

The RMI, in the form of its RMI Standards and Certifications division (RMISC), is in the latter stages of gaining UKAS accreditation to become the first organisation in Europe to become a certification body for Security Technical Information.

James said the technical information is vital for independent garages to be able to repair cars in the future.

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