OBD ports being locked or moved

just read in my in house magazine that some manufacturers are either moving OBD ports or fitting locking plates over them or fitting locking plugs to them. its unsure at this time as to who will hold a key for the mentioned plugs/plates.
this has come about because of the well known floor in design on certain vehicles where thieves are able to break side windows and interrogate the ECU via the OBD to get details to be able to clone their own key and drive the vehicle away.
 

JohnM100

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Gold Supporter
Not heard of this but raises 2 questions:

What happens when your local RAC/AA/ roadside recovery man / local garage needs to access it? If there are that many keys/removal tools going around then they'll eventually get into the hands of miscreants.

If thieves are willing to break side windows to gain access to the OBD (I think this was an issue with BMWs & the system design; not Audi), then would a locking plate really stop them?

More a case of needing to secure the software & electronics system design properly rather than padlocking it.

John.
 

cemerson

Registered User
It's against the law though. The OBD ports have to be within a certain distance of the drivers seat, and require no special tools to access.
 
It's against the law though. The OBD ports have to be within a certain distance of the drivers seat, and require no special tools to access.
well I can assure you this is direct from my companies trade magazine so it must be ok to do and as I work for one of the mentioned breakdown companies I trust the information.can I say I drive a truck and the OBD is in the fusebox on the passenger side of the vehicle.
in reply to johnnym100 without being too specific about makes of vehicles this will effect ( bmw for 1) the problem was a blind spot in the alarm system coupled with a permanent live OBD but on reading the info its referring to not only securing the OBD but also moving it so it cannot be reached by just leaning in through a broken window.
 
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cemerson

Registered User
Just because they are doing it, doesn't mean it's OK to do!

I'm fairly certain the law says it's not allowed to be behind any kind of panel. The issue with BMWs is because BMW (like most other manufacturers) use the port for things other than diagnostics, like programming different components (eg VCDS). OBD itself isn't the issue, but the manufacturer's use of it to allow this kind of control is. It's just convenient for them to do that. I would have thought the best solution would be to leave the OBD port alone for diagnostics, and have all the control bits use a separate, different port that they can make inaccessible/hide behind a panel. It would just cost more!
 

cemerson

Registered User
there ya go thanks veeight.see its not B.S I'm sure the company selling this have looked into it thoroughly from a legality and liability point of view.

This is completely different. There is no law stopping the owner from blocking it off, only from stopping the manufacturer doing it for a car they make. Surely you can see the massive difference here?
 
This is completely different. There is no law stopping the owner from blocking it off, only from stopping the manufacturer doing it for a car they make. Surely you can see the massive difference here?
ok well we'll leave it there and wait to see that's all I can say.
 

hades-

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
they say they are thinking about it
iv read it in a mag
but doesnt mean they will end up doing it.
also if they do to anywer your question the owner will have the key theres no way the dealer could keep it
 

cuke2u

Registered User
I would think that the EU will need to approve it first if it is a case of law...
 

veeeight

I am a very pretty girl
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I have a vague recollection that in the European Directive , when it mentions "access" - it refers to open unencrypted access, rather than physical access (ie: it's ok to place it behind a panel if required)
 

@udi A3

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VCDS Map User
It's also a requirement that car repairs including in a case of all keys lost, are not tied down to the original manufactor. I'm pretty damn sure that anti pick safe plate will be pickable, and I'll be investing in a set of picks if they become mainstream.
 

cemerson

Registered User
I have a vague recollection that in the European Directive , when it mentions "access" - it refers to open unencrypted access, rather than physical access (ie: it's ok to place it behind a panel if required)

"All cars manufactured for sale in the US since 1996 have an OBDII diagnostic port as mandated by federal law. This connector must be within 3 feet of the steering wheel and must not require tools to access."

Seems unlikely they'd change it for EU cars and US cars.
 

veeeight

I am a very pretty girl
VCDS Map User
So how about a pop off panel that doesn't require tools to pop off then ;)
 

cemerson

Registered User
So how about a pop off panel that doesn't require tools to pop off then ;)

That's fine, but not much protection against people who break in!
 

leegsi

Registered User
Vauxhall dealers have started removing the power fuse to the OBD socket to stop the socket working.

Not sure if its to stop thefts or just people using back street garages (Like the one I work at)
 
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