"Right to Repair" - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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"Right to Repair"

As some of the older members know, I have followed this for several years, but quit early last year as it looked like John Deere had lost their battle. Well, I decided to look at it again since I work in the aftermarket now to see where things were going because I'm getting a lot of emails at work about the "Right to Repair" Washington DC assembly that's coming up. It appears that John Deere actually won. This is a huge blow to the aftermarket suppliers, technicians, ECM programmers, etc... https://www.wired.com/story/john-dee...ght-to-repair/ This is a huge setback! This could lead to us loosing our ability to change the ECM tune in our cars! It could also mean that only a GM dealership can provide parts for our cars. Now I know this is extreme, but like I said, I've been following this for quite some time now and the plot is starting to show....

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 06:58 AM
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That's California, taking away rights is the state government's job now. I'm a 2nd generation native who left last year and I doubt I'll ever go back. A big plus is that without the California Air Resources Board my GXP is MUCH faster.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 07:25 AM
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The farmers like car owners will figure out a way to do the repairs themselves. Look at all the after market tuning companies.

And by refusing to allow owners to maintain their own equipment, they will ultimately be driving customers away. Go buy a Chinese clone for less initial price and maintain it yourself. Or just throw it away and buy an Indian unit.

The manufacturers are in a competitive environment. As long as there are alternatives they will loose the fight in the end.

Its just basically stupid that they cant embrace the needs of the market place. Offer quick repair service while under warranty and sell them the tools they need to use to maintain after the warranty period ends.

Lots of foolish manufacturers went through this kind of crap. Look at DVDs. First they tried to lock them all. Then they tried suing their own customers. Then the government agreed that if you bought the DVD you could copy it for your own use. Now no one buys DVDs anymore. You download them from online services. Or you rent them and rip them using lots of online tools. They lost that battle big time.

Same thing will happen to the equipment builders. Basically they are applying a cost of ownership that will impact the decision of what and when to purchase. I would never buy equipment from a manufacturer who locked up all his technology forever. During the warranty, sure. After the warranty not going to happen.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 09:12 AM
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What next the Tractor Enforcement Police ! As Rob said farmers are pretty ingenious they will figure out a way to get around this it's the American way .
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 11:03 AM
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That's California, taking away rights is the state government's job now. I'm a 2nd generation native who left last year and I doubt I'll ever go back. A big plus is that without the California Air Resources Board my GXP is MUCH faster.
The California Farm Bureau doesn't have anything to do with California's elected state government. You realize that, right?

"California Farm Bureau Federation is a nonprofit organization of farmers and ranchers consisting of county Farm Bureaus from nearly every county in California, established in 1919 to work for the betterment of family farmers and ranchers in California."

If you read the article, it appears that John Deere et al influenced the CFB (portions of the verbiage of their press release is verbatim from an industry propaganda flyer).

Sorry, but I'm done looking the other way on mistruths and misdirections on this sort of thing. States like California and Washington (where I live) do actually strongly support human rights and freedoms. Among them are the right to breathe clean air, drink clean, safe water, eat food that isn't soaked in toxic pesticides, and not get shot. Access to affordable health care, safe, maintained public infrastructure, and a minimum wage well above national standards (and come closer to allowing people to both eat and afford shelter) are also featured.

Contrast with my home state, Michigan, where Flint has been without potable water for years, directly due to the state government's criminal decisions, the roads are just plain ****, and minimum wage nets you $18,500/year (assuming you can get a full time job).

Back on topic, this sort of artificial obsolescence via technology is getting out of control. Quickbooks has done this for years by going out of their way to make tax tables not work with older versions. Now they are disabling online banking in older versions. Because they cannot get people to pay for upgrades that don't have any new features. Do we really want this in our cars? I mean, how many 60 year old 2019 Corvettes will be functional with all the one-off electronic gizmochery in them? The Porsche 928 is a pretty reasonable early example of what can happen, and that wasn't an artificial thing...it's just low production, a failure-prone part, and no spares. Do we let car companies demand maintenance contracts to keep older cars functional? Will they be allowed to remotely disable them or turn off functionality if we don't pay up? Will GM et al be allowed to terminate their functionality entirely if they are too old, no longer profitable, or they just need to prop up new car sales?

We are at the precipice of a very slippery slope here.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 02:45 PM
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If you don't want to be held hostage by someone else's technology, don't buy it.
There is no requirement for you to use the latest technology, or even technology that is less than 40 years old.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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I've been preaching this topic for several years. ACPN, MEMA, AASA are all trying to keep the "right to repair". And once one card falls RTE, the rest will follow. There's big money if an OE makes you purchase your parts from a dealership instead of an O'Reilly's or NAPA. And OEs as we all know, have deep pockets. And the fact that 80% of the vote can be "bought". Just sayin...this is a serious issue and is not being taken lightly by the aftermarket groups. Only time will tell. Now that JD has this one group in their pocket, they can go to court and say, "see, we're supported!!"
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 07:36 PM
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Ghost, when I read stuff like this I want to tell myself "don't buy into that because Ghost posts some stuff that sounds pretty outrageous sometimes." Then I also think that "crap, sometimes guys like Ghost just sound outrageous because they are a little more tuned into something than most of us and they are seeing it a little earlier than the rest of us." Don't take this wrong but I sure hope you are out in left field and are wrong about this. The problem is I think you may be right. I guess time will tell us.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:47 AM
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I'm so glad I've lived my life in a time when "technology " was something you read about in school having to do with space exploration . Sure it has done some great things for the human race but for me there are serious side effects the dumbing down of people for me being the biggest issue . All one has to do is look around people can't get their heads out of their dumbphones , children are no longer using their imagination on a car trip because mom has DVD players built into the seats , tablets have become electronic babysitters ,cars have become so complex because they are built by robots /computers not humans I could go on and on . And now because of this "technology" corporations are using it to hold individuals hostage when it comes to their products the John Deere example just goes to show us where we are headed . As many of you know besides my Solstice I've been restomodding a 70 Chevelle and I have to admit it's so nice to work on something that a human built and I don't need a computer to tune or deal with some of the issues our cars have . I have no idea where we are headed as far as the future goes but I'm glad I'm on the downside of my life because it's not for me !
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Last edited by Sting Ya; 04-24-2019 at 07:50 AM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 09:13 AM
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@Sting Ya : I fully understand what you are saying, but I think you are condemning the technology instead of the actions of the people using it. Parents use tablets and DVD players a babysitters because they are too lazy to give their children activities that would be better for the kids, but take more of their own efforts. I think they also take the easy way out by avoiding having to say "no", when we all know that being told no occasionally is actually good for you. Just because the technology is available, and very beneficial in many cases, does not mean that it is always appropriate to use it, or that there is any obligation to do so.

While cars have become extremely complex on one level, that complexity has made them more powerful, more efficient, and more reliable. It is definitely a trade-off that to have to make fewer repairs, those repairs require more of a different kind of knowledge, and more expensive tools. At the end of the day, a computer isn't that much different than a timing light and dwell meter, and i suspect that the generation of mechanics older than us thought that those were "new-fangled and excessively expensive". Over all, I am happy for the change.

While some companies do hold their customers hostage, all of them don't. Also, in some cases what may appear to be a denial of right to repair is actually a company protecting its intellectual property, and I think it is important to understand the difference. If you invest time and money to develop something there should be any compulsion for you to give that knowledge away.

The John Deere case does not apply to most of the automotive world, with the notable exception of Tesla who, as far as I know, does not allow their customers to work on their vehicles or at least does not provide any of the information needed to do it. With every other manufacturer, it is possible to access all of the information and tools that are available to their dealerships, so it is therefore possible for you to do any repair that they can do. Could they retract this ability? Yes, but they have agreed not to, and it doesn't seem right to condemn them for what they "might" do.

John Deere didn't sneak around about this, as they require customers to sign an end-user's agreement stating that they will not work on their equipment. I suppose that they could sue a customer for breaking that agreement, but first they would have to find out that it happened, and even then I don't know what they would gain. Cracked software is easily available to an owner who wants to bypass the restrictions, so there are ways around the issue. Of course, the easiest way around it is to buy someone else's equipment.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 09:13 AM
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Sting, I largely agree with you. When the power goes out, I am the only one in the neighbourhood that can receive phone calls (old hard wired dial telephones) and fire up the gas range with a match or light our gas fireplaces (battery powered ignition).

But I also prefer fuel injection to carbs and have used it when converting old (1950s) British cars to more modern engines with fuel injection. I guess in a 2019 world I have advanced to about 1995 or so.....
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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@Sting Ya :
While some companies do hold their customers hostage, all of them don't.
This is a whole new can of worms...or as my boss says, a new rabbit hole to go down. With the coming of autonomous vehicles, there are ad companies already trying to buy the data that has been collected from your smartphone and vehicle about location and then display ads on your infotainment screen. One vendor has tried unsuccessfully to even hold you captive by not allowing your car out of park when you first start it, until you watch a 30 second advertisement.

You see, the OEs currently own all this data and are trying desperately to keep it so they can sell it. They know when you leave your house, how fast you drive, the route you take, and best of all, where you go. In some of the newer 2019, 2020 vehicles, they know exactly how your car performed. And they are trying to keep this data so they can sell it to other vendors. And when self driving cars finally (I doubt they will ever in my lifetime) come to fruition, they can bombard you with advertisements because they've sold all your data to outside vendors just for that purpose.

One company that spoke at a seminar here in Detroit for ACPN stated that they have been working with an OE to "pinpoint" when items are going to fail on a certain vehicle. So they know when it's time to replace an O2 sensor, or a fuel injector, or brakes before the owner of the vehicle does...and they are trying to get the OE to "unlock" that center 8" screen to allow them to warn you a part is about to fail and then guide you to a dealership for service. And this is because of the data they are receiving from over 50,000 vehicles that are on the road...he wouldn't say which company it was that is allowing them to buy this data...but he said that soon all OEs will be working with their company on this....

CRiggleman...I'll await your next comment...LOL...

Actually CRiggleman, I'm a wealth of useless information (not as much as my brother!!).... Much like James Holzhauer (current Jeopardy champ...quite the machine!!), if I'm interested in something, I don't usually forget it. Ask my ex-wife, I started remembering stuff she would randomly say and that's how I caught her cheating!!! LMAO!!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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@Sting Ya :

John Deere didn't sneak around about this, as they require customers to sign an end-user's agreement stating that they will not work on their equipment. I suppose that they could sue a customer for breaking that agreement, but first they would have to find out that it happened, and even then I don't know what they would gain. Cracked software is easily available to an owner who wants to bypass the restrictions, so there are ways around the issue. Of course, the easiest way around it is to buy someone else's equipment.
You are correct...it started with a contract when you bought the equipment stating that JD still "owned" said equipment, and they were merely allowing you to pay for it and use it for it's usable life. But, with the coming of wireless downloads to your ECM on future cars, how do you program something that can just be rewritten without even going to the dealership? They'll put clauses in your lease/purchase agreement stating that you have to have a download of available software within so many days of it's release. I can see it coming already. Then when you set a CEL, the car sends it wirelessly to the OE...so there goes the little independent shops. And this is not an "it's coming"....it's already here on new cars!! So now the Independent has to pay the OE $XXX.XX to get the information on your CEL.....see what's happening?
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ASAP T2 stripes and badging
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Windrestrictor lighted door sills lighted in white
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ZZPerformance dyno tuned - 286HP, 317ft/lbs of torque at 23psi of boost.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 08:29 PM
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Thatís ridiculous. Farmers should be able to repair their own equipment or choose between multiple repair shops. Thatís why I strongly support a national right-to-repair law that empowers farmers to repair their equipment without going to an authorized agent. The national right-to-repair law should require manufacturers of farm equipment to make diagnostic tools, manuals, and other repair-related resources available to any individual or business, not just their own dealerships and authorized agents. This will not only allow individuals to fix their own equipment ó reducing delays ó but it will also create competition among dealers and independent repair shops, bringing down prices overall.
If you want a national "right to repair", there's a Presidential candidate for you: https://medium.com/@teamwarren/level...s-823d1994f067

There's not a way to implement this that wouldn't greatly increase the accessibility of tuning options for every vehicle (because the information needed for software developers will be available.)
It'd also be a big deal to improve the ability to hot-rod EVs and hybrid vehicles.
In many cases, improving EV acceleration just a matter of adjusting some software limits to trim down the safety factors built into the calibrations, just like it is with combustion-engine cars.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 11:19 PM
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The California Farm Bureau doesn't have anything to do with California's elected state government. You realize that, right?

"California Farm Bureau Federation is a nonprofit organization of farmers and ranchers consisting of county Farm Bureaus from nearly every county in California, established in 1919 to work for the betterment of family farmers and ranchers in California."

If you read the article, it appears that John Deere et al influenced the CFB (portions of the verbiage of their press release is verbatim from an industry propaganda flyer).

Sorry, but I'm done looking the other way on mistruths and misdirections on this sort of thing. States like California and Washington (where I live) do actually strongly support human rights and freedoms. Among them are the right to breathe clean air, drink clean, safe water, eat food that isn't soaked in toxic pesticides, and not get shot. Access to affordable health care, safe, maintained public infrastructure, and a minimum wage well above national standards (and come closer to allowing people to both eat and afford shelter) are also featured.

Contrast with my home state, Michigan, where Flint has been without potable water for years, directly due to the state government's criminal decisions, the roads are just plain ****, and minimum wage nets you $18,500/year (assuming you can get a full time job).

Back on topic, this sort of artificial obsolescence via technology is getting out of control. Quickbooks has done this for years by going out of their way to make tax tables not work with older versions. Now they are disabling online banking in older versions. Because they cannot get people to pay for upgrades that don't have any new features. Do we really want this in our cars? I mean, how many 60 year old 2019 Corvettes will be functional with all the one-off electronic gizmochery in them? The Porsche 928 is a pretty reasonable early example of what can happen, and that wasn't an artificial thing...it's just low production, a failure-prone part, and no spares. Do we let car companies demand maintenance contracts to keep older cars functional? Will they be allowed to remotely disable them or turn off functionality if we don't pay up? Will GM et al be allowed to terminate their functionality entirely if they are too old, no longer profitable, or they just need to prop up new car sales?

We are at the precipice of a very slippery slope here.
I'm not a political guy, I mostly wanted to point out that I couldn't put a 50 state legal GMPP tune on my 2007 GXP because it was only certified for 2008+. As far as being shot, my son and I grew up in the Thousand Oaks area. If I had not relocated he would have been at the Borderline on that horrific night. He went there with his girlfriend every week. We both had friends there that night.
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