Fleet workshops have been warned over the use of counterfeit software after an Autodata campaign brought a bogus data seller to justice.
Bracknell Forest Trading Standards, together with Police and Autodata Limited, seized computer equipment and a quantity of software disks from a Bracknell man in his 50s .
Responding to Trading Standards garage inspections, tip-offs from garage owners and Autodata customers as far as the Channel Islands, the Police and Trading Standards carried out a successful visit to the residence after a long pursuit over a period of several months.
The unnamed tool distributor who, as part of his occupation, had access to garages has admitted to making unauthorised copies of Autodata software, as well as mechanical diagnostic software belonging to other brands.
The use of counterfeit Autodata software can endanger motorists and ruin a workshop’s reputation. Manufacturers constantly update their technical information, which means repairs can be carried out incorrectly by technicians using out-of-date or bogus products endangering their customers and the general public.
A spokesman from Bracknell Forest Trading Standards said: "The safety risks of unapproved vehicle repair data needs to be more widely understood by both the public and garages.
"This trade in illegal software potentially puts the safety of road users into jeopardy and Autodata is performing a sterling public service in doing this investigative work to reduce the risks from unsafe service and repair.
"Our officers are always happy to co-operate with rights owners and the Police to eliminate this trade wherever we find it going on. We are hopeful of obtaining further details of garages and will be working with other trading standard authorities to conduct garage visits to remove illicit software and take appropriate action.”