The long-term risk of locking-out repair

To help it push forward with a full-scale launch, add to its current team of six and start selling more broadly to repair shops, insurance providers and parts dealers, Estify recently closed on a $800K round of seed capital, led by ff Venture Capital, with participation from Romulus Capital, REES Capital and Amplify.LA. The tractor and farm equipment manufacturer doesn’t mince words. “In the absence of an express written license in conjunction with the purchase of the vehicle [to operate its software], the vehicle owner receives an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle, subject to any warranty limitations, disclaimers or other contractual limitations in the sales contract or documentation.”

I’ve never modded my car and I haven’t been near a tractor in decades. But the reason this fight matters is directly rooted in the ability to Car Repair Software anything. With multiple manufacturers shoving the concept of an Internet of Things full throttle, how long before basic appliance repair has become something you can only perform with a licensed technician? It’s not an altogether crazy concept. Device and appliance manufacturers have fought to build repair monopolies for decades in various industries, with generally limited success.

What all of this means, however, is that you can save money on repairs on expired warranty vehicles be performing your own fault diagnosis using a special USB cable and a diagnostic utility. You can then use this information to trace a fault to a particular component (perhaps a temperature sensor, perhaps the brakes) and arrange the necessary repairs.

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