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Ford Sues Autel For Hacking, Copying Database


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One of our technicians had a conversation today with the MATCO guy and he mentioned a lawsuit regarding Autel stealing intellectual property from Ford's diagnostic software. I did some searching and found some information but requires a membership to review the entire article. Does anyone have any additional information on this? According to the tool guy it is pertaining to the "power balance" feature. We are at the point of updating our Autel and power balance is a feature that is used quite often so I am curious to learn more about this.

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Bradley, very interesting news. Autel is a hot scan tool on the market so it will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

 

http://www.law360.com/articles/582278/ford-sues-car-equipment-co-for-hacking-copying-database Specifically, Autel's DS708 tool contains an unlawfully obtained copy of the FFData file, according to Ford. Autel's tool responds in the same manner as Ford's IDS does when "test" or "dummy" data is entered, which "conclusively demonstrates that Autel copied Ford’s proprietary database because the 'test' or 'dummy' does not correspond to any actual vehicles or parts," lawyers for Ford wrote in the complaint.

Ford is asserting claims for copyright and trademark infringement, false designation of origin, misappropriation of trade secrets, common law unjust enrichment and unfair and deceptive trade practices. The company is seeking an injunction, an order requiring Autel to destroy any allegedly infringing products, unspecified damages, attorneys' fees and other relief.

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The power balance test is one that I use all the time on my IDS. I wonder how they even got a hold of it. Hard to believe they cracked the Ford security, but I guess anything is possible.

 

I wish that ALL the info was obtainable to ALL aftermarket scanner companies. Wishful thinking... probably never happen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some food for thought... So is it actually Ford upset over this or the company that Ford used to produce the VCMII. I will give you one guess who that is and why they are really upset.

 

Clue #1: In the aftermarket their Tools are green and they recently purchased another company for their three letter name.

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I purchased the Autel Maxisys Pro earlier this year and have had nothing but problems with it. They finally agreed to take it back a month or so ago. Since then, they have given my tool dealer and his supplier the run around, now they will not return any of my phone calls or emails. If you are considering purchasing any Autel product, I would highly recommend not buying from them.

 

Scott Folley

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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