Publisher's Perspective: 'Does Not Bother Me None' – Until It Affects Me, That Is!

Publisher’s Perspective: ‘Does Not Bother Me None’ – Until It Affects Me, That Is!

Now is the time for us in the automotive aftermarket to speak up about data. The industry had to fight for more than a decade to get ‘Right to Repair’ passed. Now is the time to start this battle before existing practices become accepted as business as usual.

Photo credit:

I’m sure you can relate to the statement in my headline above. Who can possibly be passionate about every issue that’s out there floating around? As I get older, I pick and choose the subjects I get flustered about very carefully. There’s just not enough hours in the day to get everything done, and worrying about some particular things tends to be a distraction rather than a productive use of the ever-decreasing amounts of energy I have on hand. I also guard against getting too sweaty about anything I can’t control.

Usually, I find that the ones I allow myself to get lathered up over are the ones that affect family, my personal friends or me. Now, of course, there are those pet peeves that I have always carried the sword around over, but we don’t need to waste time here on such longstanding personal axes to grind.

I thought I had pretty well supported the data issue that is alive in our industry. I have written several columns on it and sponsored numerous industry initiatives to draw awareness. In my mind I thought I was passionate about the subject and supporting it. Then, the letter came in the mail recently.

The letter was from my auto insurance company and seemed pretty mundane. It was not marked as a bill and did not feel like the usual 14-page declarations change document – just a single sheet of paper. I opened and started half-consciously reading it. The insurance company had acquired data from a third-party source that stated Mrs. Shriber is driving more than we usually do, and it put us into a higher rate structure. Wait, WHAT? Now they had my full attention. Of course I didn’t like the rate increase, but if we’re in a different mileage band, so be it.

What was this third-party mumbo jumbo? I have nothing jammed into the OBD II port to report driving habits to anyone. Moreover, I have not authorized anybody to stalk our driving habits. Then it dawned on me. Every month we get a report in our e-mail on the health and well-being of our vehicle. This includes our current mileage. Bingo. Third party, my eye. Our vehicle manufacturer sold that data to an aggregator, which then sold it to the insurance company.

Again, it’s not the rate increase at issue here. We owe that if we are driving more. The problem as I see it is that driving data should be in our control. I have never knowingly signed away that right. Someone just seems to think it is theirs. What else do they think is theirs? Repair data? Repair procedures? Parts specifications? Where does it stop?

If you think this won’t affect you or your business, think again. Now is the time for us in the automotive aftermarket to speak up. The industry had to fight for more than a decade to get ‘Right to Repair’ passed. Now is the time to start this battle before existing practices become accepted as business as usual. Contact your associations and your representative and let them know where you stand. 

Personally, I am buying a lead shield for my car until we get this ironed out.

You May Also Like

Time to Hit the Road

Outgoing AMN Editor Amy Antenora reflects on her time covering the automotive aftermarket.

Amy Antenora aftermarket news

Twenty years. That’s more than 5,000 business days, roughly 15 AAPEX shows (for me, at least), more than 400 executive interviews and who knows how many article posts.

That’s what my time here at Babcox Media, as Editor of aftermarketNews, looks like in black and white numbers. But that’s not the real measure of what I’ve accumulated over 20 years’ time.

‘The Aftermarket Should Not Fear the Future’

Paul McCarthy flipped the script on vehicle technology and its potential impact on the automotive aftermarket.

The Challenge of Organizational Culture, Post-Covid

The impact of Covid on our society and organizations will not be fully understood for many years.

Four Keys to Creating a Succession Plan That Works

Do you have a plan in place to ensure your business maintains its success after you leave?

Commentary: The Power of Team Spirit

Dr. John A Passante & Dr. Thomas Litzinger share their thoughts on the multiplying benefits of adopting a team spirit.

Other Posts

As Cars Keep Aging, What Will The Future Look Like?

The big issue for the next 22 years is how sensors and software that make driving safer impact vehicle serviceability.

Parts and Artificial Intelligence

In the past 25 years, things have changed with the Internet.

What’s Being Discussed at HDAD 2023? 

Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue (HDAD), hosted by MEMA and MacKay & Co., opens up Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week.

The Mission of Leadership is to Build a Learning Organization

Does your organization make space and time for groundbreaking ideas, innovation and inspiration?