January 31, 2023

2022 Subaru models lack in-car wireless technology – Boston 25 News


WATERTOWN, Mass — EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect a second statement released by Subaru of America dated March 1, 2022.

It’s not uncommon to see workers repairing a Subaru car or SUV inside Direct Tire & Auto Service in Watertown; Owner Bob Lane said it was the most popular car they service. But lately, Lane said he’s heard complaints about Subaru disabling certain systems in their new vehicles.

“It’s about data,” Lane said.

Subaru of America told Boston 25 that the company disabled some of its in-vehicle wireless telematics in 2,022 vehicles sold in Massachusetts. As originally reported by The Associated Press Subaru’s decision stems from the passage of the Right to Repair Act of 2020, which was overwhelmingly approved by Massachusetts voters. The law states that automakers must give consumers access to a vehicle’s telematics data, which is diagnostic information collected over a wireless connection. According to the AP, the law requires automakers to create an “open standard for sharing mechanical data.”

“Rather than comply, they disable the car’s telematics,” Lane said. “If that stuff is off, it’s just not safe and it’s not good.”

Subaru of America spokesman Dominick Infante said the change “does not affect the safety of Subaru vehicles.”

“Due to Massachusetts’ new data law, Subaru had to stop offering its telematics product to Massachusetts residents purchasing new MY 2022 Subaru vehicles. This does not affect the safety of Subaru vehicles. Vehicles without telematics continue to meet or exceed all government safety standards, and they maintain all of their IIHS and NHTSA safety ratings,” Infante said in a March 1 email to Boston 25.

“This decision only affects optional Subaru STARLINK telematics services. Subaru stopped offering these services not to comply with the law – compliance with the law at present is impossible for any automaker – but rather to avoid breaking it. The reason is simple: the new law requires vehicles equipped with telematics systems to transmit vehicle data directly to a platform that will be operated by an as yet unidentified third party. This third-party platform does not exist today and will not exist any time soon. Until the platform was created – and until Subaru could redesign its telematics system to communicate securely with this platform – we felt it was our only option,” Infante said. .

Tommy Hickey, Director of Right to Repair Coalitionsaid it was a stall tactic by automakers to delay implementation of the law.

“What they’ve shown us time and time again is that profits are more important to them than consumers and that cars are repaired in an open repair market,” Hickey said. “People should be upset. It’s something Massachusetts consumers voted for, they wanted their repair data, they wanted to take their car wherever they wanted, and the automakers stick their thumbs up and say, “No.” We won’t do that. We would rather not sell you the car with all [these] capacities. »

Infante said Subaru customers in Massachusetts can continue to use the vehicle’s radio, navigation, Apple Carplay, Android Auto and many other features.

“To be clear, this is not a repair issue. Independent repair shops already have all the information they need to repair Subaru vehicles, and Subaru retailers do not receive repair diagnostic data from the telematics system. Unfortunately, the inability to comply with this new law does a disservice to both our retailers and our customers,” Infante said.

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