The European Commission has granted the after-sales market operators access to data generated by vehicles and has extended the Motor Vehicle Category Exemption Regulation (MVBER) for five more years.
The European Commission has extended the Motor Vehicle Category Exemption Regulation (RGVM) for five more years, until May 31, 2028. Additionally, the Commission has updated some complementary Guidelines for the sector. The updated Guidelines will assist automotive companies in assessing the compatibility of their vertical agreements with EU competition rules, while ensuring that after-sales market operators, such as garages, maintain access to the data produced by vehicles.
According to the European Commission’s press release, the previous regulation regarding access to vehicle data expired on May 31, 2023, leaving the automotive sector uncertain about their ability to repair and maintain vehicles. However, the recent extension of the Motor Vehicle Category Exemption Regulation until May 31, 2028, provides more time to adapt to market changes that may arise from the digitization of vehicles, electrification, and new mobility guidelines. This will also allow the Commission to respond promptly to any potential market changes.
The updated Guidelines state that data produced by sensors in vehicles can be crucial for repair and maintenance services. Therefore, to comply with Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), authorized and independent repair shops must have equal access to such data. The existing principles that cover the provision of technical information, tools, and training required for repair and maintenance services have been expanded to explicitly include the data generated by the sensors.
The decision to extend and update the Motor Vehicle Category Exemption Regulation was based on an evaluation report and a Commission staff working document. The report stated that while the competitive environment in the motor vehicle markets had not undergone significant changes since the Commission’s last assessment in 2010, the industry is currently facing intense pressure to adapt to the green and digital transformations.
The growing importance of access to vehicle-generated data was also highlighted as a reason for the update. In July 2022, the Commission initiated a stakeholder consultation and call for evidence on the draft Regulation that would extend the RMV and the draft Communication modifying the Supplementary Guidelines. In November 2022, a summary of the feedback received during these consultations was published by the Commission.