b'OPINIONEngine Manufacturers:Right to Repair Is Not Right to ModifyBy Allen Schaeffer, Diesel Technology ForumA t the forefront for passenger vessel owners is passenger safety and uptime,ment in the amount of $6.5 million both of which are significantly influenced by propulsion, hotelling enginetaken against a company for defeating power systems and bridge control systems. Like radar and communica- emissions control systems in cars and tions technology, modern diesel engines and bridge control systems rely on inte- trucks. grated management systems all governed by sophisticated computers.Beyond running afoul of federally-These systems enable marine engines to meet increasingly stringent EPAmandated safety and emissions re-emissions standards while improving engine performance and reliability.quirements, these practices undermine Underpinning engine controls is proprietary computer software that directs allmanufacturers innovation and intel-aspects of engine and propulsion system performance. Similarly, bridge controllectual property and void valuable systems use proprietary computer software to manage vessel propulsion andwarranties.stability control. Servicing these sophisticated systems is an increasingly technicalGiving purchasers access to the challenge. Manufacturers have increased training and servicing of their techni- source code would also risk allowing cians to provide the highest level of technical capability in software-managementmodifications that may not meet and troubleshooting to ensure maximum uptime for vessel owners.safety and emissions requirements for But now, 21 states are considering legislation that would require manufacturersequipment. Modifications also create of everything from cell phones to engines and propulsion systems in passengerunknown liability issues for the indi-vessels to provide access to these computer and software systems to anyone, re- viduals modifying the code, modified gardless of qualifications.vessels for resale, and subsequentActivists in the right to repair movement are pushing legislation to seekowners of a modified vessel. The right unfettered access to the software that governs on-board technology in sophisti- to repair ones equipment does not cated engines and equipment, putting the safety and security of users at risk. Itextend to an unlawful right to modify also allows tampering with engine controls (also called chipping or tuning),its software. a practice that is illegal under the federal Clean Air Act, with recent enforce- While the manufacturers supplying the marine industry support customers repairing their own equipment, we do not support breaking federal safety and environmental laws. This is why we urge the Passenger Vessel Association to join a growing diverse national coalition including marine-related organizations such as the National Marine Distributors Association, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas in fighting RELIABLE POWER FOR Athese legislative proposals in state DEMANDING SCHEDULE capitals. nYour business cant compromise when it comes toAbout the Author maintaining a demanding schedule. Thats whyAllen Schaeffer is the Executive Director of customers count on reliable John Deere PowerTechDiesel Technology Forum, a not-for-profit marine engines. With high torque and low-rated rpm,organization dedicated to raising awareness John Deere engines deliver dependable power and quiet operation. about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Six Associate members of PVA belong to the Forum.Full power range of marine engines 60 to 559 kw (80 to 750 hp)JohnDeere.com/Marine28MARCH 2020FOGHORN'