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Discussion Starter #1
So since this is my first car that I really want to pursue aftermarket parts for, i'm curious as to what little gems-o-spyware Mazda has installed on my car.

Meaning, does the ECU record my driving/braking/shifting habits? I assume it records any CEL's that happen but can I erase them by disconnecting the battery?

I realize this is a fine line in ethical behavior (for warranty work possibly) however I feel I have the right, in regards to privacy, to not allow mazda to have any information about driving habits, or heck, even CEL's if I don't want them to.

Thoughts? Is this a stupid question/topic or do you agree?

repo
 

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In the front of the manual it says:

Event Data Recorder
This vehicle is equipped with an event data recorder. In the event of a crash, this device records data related to
vehicle dynamics and safety systems for a short period of time. These data can help provide a better
understanding of the circumstances in which crashes and injuries occur and lead to the designing of safer
vehicles.

Not sure if you can clear it at all.
 

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I used to work for an insurance company. You can't clear those. It's like the black box on a plane.

If one doesn't drive like an ass, this can be beneficial in an accident.
 

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There was a lawsuit some, oh, 2 or 3 years ago, about this very thing. A couple got into an accident and totaled their car. Their claim was that something failed on the vehicle (anti-locks or whatever it was....don't remember). The dealership, retrieving the 'black box', reported that it WAS not a failure.....just think if it was....the dealer would be liable....especially if their black box recorded it!

Come to find out that the dealer was not going to release the black box data during the lawsuit. Fishy??? That's what the vehicle owners thought. The dealer said that the black box was THEIR property...giving them the right to or not to release it's information. Owners claimed they bought the car...the ENTIRE car....any contents, INCLUDING the black box, was in the purchase of the vehicle. Courts agreed and had them turn over the info in the box.

Vehicle owners won the suit. Something DID fail and the dealer was trying to cover it up. I found that quite the interesting case.

Of course, if you are an idiot driver (like LapisLazuli6 stated), this could hurt ya.....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
interesting post MS6 U UP.

i'm more curious if they can determine my driving habits? IE, shifting on average at 5500RPM, top speed of 155, hard breaking, AWD electronic engagements, steering angles @ speeds. Anything that would allow them to use this data to claim 'abuse' or for you to disprove their claim of abuse.

I like the fact that blackbox is there for vehicle malfunction. However if it's also storing driving habits, I think privacy laws could be brought up.

repo
 

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How is the dealer liable for anything? They just sell the cars, they don't make em.
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Sorry, you're right. I meant manufacturer. The dealer kept the black box, but the vehicle owners sued the manufacturer. I wanna say it was Nissan....but I don't remember for sure.
 

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Most only record information in "snapshot" form. For example, when a CEL is triggered it polls all current sensors and records their value. Some also have a continuous ~30 second loop that is constantly overridden. When a major accident is detected, whether through shock sensors or with airbag deployment, it saves that 30 second loop previous to the accident to show if you were slowing down, turning, etc. IIRC only a few states legally allow the data that is recorded to be used in court.
 

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There was a lawsuit some, oh, 2 or 3 years ago, about this very thing. A couple got into an accident and totaled their car. Their claim was that something failed on the vehicle (anti-locks or whatever it was....don't remember). The dealership, retrieving the 'black box', reported that it WAS not a failure.....just think if it was....the dealer would be liable....especially if their black box recorded it!

Come to find out that the dealer was not going to release the black box data during the lawsuit. Fishy??? That's what the vehicle owners thought. The dealer said that the black box was THEIR property...giving them the right to or not to release it's information. Owners claimed they bought the car...the ENTIRE car....any contents, INCLUDING the black box, was in the purchase of the vehicle. Courts agreed and had them turn over the info in the box.

Vehicle owners won the suit. Something DID fail and the dealer was trying to cover it up. I found that quite the interesting case.

Of course, if you are an idiot driver (like LapisLazuli6 stated), this could hurt ya.....
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Even if the "black box" was considered the property of the manufacturer, e.g, customer signs a waiver of property at the time of the purchase, the manufacturer would have to produce the "black box" and their gathered information from it subject to request for information pertinent to the litigation.

The "black box" thing was being researched by the DOT as a way to determine the cause of certain types of accidents in an effort to make cars safer and reduce the number of vehicular related deaths. They were going to decide on mandating a requirement for the "black box" in all vehicles sold in the U.S. I am not sure if they ever finished or just haulted the testing of "black boxes."
 

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So our car has a black box?
[/b]
In the front of the manual it says:

Event Data Recorder
This vehicle is equipped with an event data recorder. In the event of a crash, this device records data related to
vehicle dynamics and safety systems for a short period of time. These data can help provide a better
understanding of the circumstances in which crashes and injuries occur and lead to the designing of safer
vehicles.

Not sure if you can clear it at all.
[/b]
 

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I understand not wanting the dealer to have reasons to deny honoring a warranty, but they do have to understand that when you advertise power to sell a car (274hp, 280 ft/lbs tq), people are going to want to feel it when they drive. If you tell me a car will get to 60 in under 6 seconds, you bet I'll test that out. Has anyone been denied warranty service for abuse yet?

Many articles highlight that the purpose for these boxes is to find out what happened before an accident and this can be a good thing depending on your point of view. Here's what I mean, read this. In that case he's probably glad he had the box. Than there is this. Idiots like that should be held accountable.

Sadly, these boxes might not always be accurate as shown here.
 

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Hmm i thought the dealer was suppose to tell us.. Dealer never told me there was a black box in my car.
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Dealer does not have to tell you anything about the car. That's why every new can comes with a manual and most states have a 3 day or 5 day return period which is for inspection of goods received. If the car is not the thing you thought it was when you purchased it, they have to take it back. Imagine if dealers had to go through the entire manual and explain EVERYTHING to all customers. They'd sell only 1 or 2 cars a day.
 

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Dealer cannot refuse warranty service based on driving habbits... They have rev limiters for a reason... if you tamper or remove such a device.. they can....

Now, i'm sure there are reasonable doubt arguments as to ones ability to operate the vehicle safely. For example, leaving it in first gear, floored.. everywhere....

Also, a good mechanic can usually tell how and why something failed... If the engine or part of the engine failed from extreme use or "load"... thats not a defective product covered under warranty...

If you dent, smash, break... or anything to the body work... they aren't required to fix or replace it...
 

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I think the important thing here is what was mentioned in an earlier post.

These "Black Boxes" are constanatly gathering data, but in a limited amount. Most will record no more than 2 to 3 minutes at a time. Things have most likely changed since I dealt with them. The ECU used to be what recorded the CEL's, and the data recorder did not.

But if you are worried about it... don't drive like a freak on the way to dealer :D
 

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no u can still do that, just come in the back lot... scan for dealers as u approach the driveway, and abort if one is suspected. If aborted at first availble intersection safely comense to 70mph turn squeeling tires. continue this process untill u have made a full block. approch dealers driveway on second attempt with "Drive like u stole something" mode dis-engaged. proceed into dealers driveway in "Sunday Morning Grandma" mode ;)
 

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Dealer does not have to tell you anything about the car.
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That's not entirely accurate. Some states (like Arkansas) are REQUIRING dealers (or the manufacturer) to disclose to buyers before purchasing the car whether or not it has an EDR (Event Data Recorder). Some states have enacted laws as to how this information may be obtained by law enforcement, but it's still a pretty new issue.

http://www.harristechnical.com/cdr7.htm
 
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