Coding can be a hobby

Is auto coding legal?

With Auto code you can unlock hidden functions on your car. You can also use Auto Coding to give the vehicle a personal touch.

To do this, you can drive to a workshop and your Auto code leave what costs money. Depending on the type of coding, the cost of the Auto code be low or high. In some cases you will be charged several hundred euros.

For comparison: You can get a dongle with OBD connection and a suitable app from around 100 euros on the Internet. You can use it to do yours Auto codeas often as you feel like it.

But is auto coding legal? Coding a car is basically legal and therefore allowed. With regard to legal concerns, you should consider the following points:

  • With auto coding, changes are made to the car. A change is also made if, for example, the chassis is lowered. Whether car coding is legal therefore depends on the question of whether the change made is legal. Making changes to the vehicle can violate criminal law, administrative law and contract law. Anyone who violates legal provisions must expect consequences. These range from a warning to imprisonment.
  • In order to be able to move a car in traffic, insurance cover is mandatory. Coding a car can be a breach of the insurance contract. If this occurs, the insurance can refuse benefits.
  • Legal concerns also exist with the software used. Commercial apps with a dongle offered on the Internet are legally unobjectionable. However, anyone who obtains original software from the car manufacturer from the Internet can be liable to prosecution if this software is sold without authorization from the owner.

If you ask a lawyer if Auto code is prohibited, you will probably get the following answer: It depends. He will have to go back a long way for details, which we are now also doing.

If you want to know if Car coding legally is or whether you have to expect legal consequences, then just stay tuned. On the following pages you can find out where the legal pitfalls are and what to look out for.

If auto coding is legal, it doesn't just refer to coding

We use the word “legal” every day. But what exactly is meant by that? Google tells us that the word “legal” means doing what is lawful. Whoever complies with applicable laws and who fulfills contractual obligations towards a contractual partner is acting lawfully.

To the Auto code do you need a laptop or smartphone. But you also need software, because otherwise you cannot reprogram the control. You can use it to deactivate the engine's start-stop function, for example.

There are numerous functions on a car that you can activate, deactivate and adjust according to your ideas. The scope of the possibilities with Auto code depends on the software. Most of the options are offered by the original software from the car manufacturer.

However, the original software is not available on the market, at least not legally. Nevertheless, it is offered for money on the Internet, which is illegal. Thus, the question arises as soon as the software is obtained, whether Car coding legally is.

Beware of pirated software

Because anyone who obtains original software from the car manufacturer from the Internet is probably already breaking the law at this point. It is very likely that this original software was illegally copied and just as illegally distributed on the Internet

Here you can already be guilty of a criminal act, for example by participating in a stolen property. So it doesn't hurt if you are critical when buying software. For example, you can ask questions about the origin of the software.

On the other hand, commercial apps for smartphones and tablet PCs that are offered together with a dongle do not have any concerns. One example of this is the commercial app from Carly, which is offered together with the appropriate dongle.

But you definitely want to know whether you are using a smartphone or an app Car coding legally is or whether you have to reckon with problems in this case as well. At the Auto code With legal software you can violate the following areas of law:

  • Criminal law
  • Administrative law
  • Civil law (contract law).

Legal texts are not easy to understand. They are formulated cryptically and individual paragraphs refer to each other. For a better overview, we have cut a swath in the paragraph jungle and broken open the thicket. Each of the three areas of law is dealt with in a separate paragraph.

Since legal texts are formulated abstractly and are not very attractive to read, we want to give you concrete examples of the consequences Auto code bring closer.

Criminal, administrative and contract law - three areas of law regulate our lives

Some of you are aware of it and some have not yet given it a thought. As a car driver, you are constantly surrounded by the fields of criminal, administrative and contract law.

Even harmless sheet metal damage leads to the application of legal provisions from administrative and civil law. If people are injured, there is also criminal law, even if only one laceration is to be complained about.

It cannot be otherwise if you are Auto code would like to. Anyone who exceeds the limits of legality when coding has to face the consequences. As is so often the case, ignorance is not recognized as an excuse.

Criminal law - when is car coding a criminal offense?

A criminal offense that runs like a red thread through the history of the automobile is fraud, or at least attempted fraud, when selling a car. It usually takes place in used cars by manipulating the mileage.

Modern IT is in vain for cars that today fetch high prices for young and old timers. These cars still consist of mechanical components, but there were fraudulent intentions even then.

It used to be common to turn back the mileage with a drill in order to achieve a higher sales price when selling a used car. Technology has changed, but fraudulent intent has not. After all, the odometers are manipulated in around a third of all used cars today.

Fraud is punishable - imprisonment threatens!

While the mileage was turned back with the drill in old cars, in modern cars this is done by coding. Manipulating the mileage via Auto code only takes a few minutes, but it has its pitfalls.

Because different control units are built into a car, which you can use to verify the mileage. So if you want to manipulate the mileage, you also have to manipulate other parts of the control units.

However, this is not always done and therefore fraud through mileage manipulation has already been proven in many cases. For the seller of the car, of course, this is an extremely uncomfortable affair.

A mileage reset is not a trivial offense and the question of whether Car coding legally is, therefore answers itself. In this case is Auto code clearly prohibited.

The manipulation of the odometer is explicitly pursued with a fine or imprisonment. The paragraphs § 22b StVG, § 263 StGB and § 268 StGB apply.

Administrative law - there is a wealth of regulations here

No area of ​​law is as comprehensive as administrative law. This includes all matters that accompany every person throughout their life. This also includes private transport.

For motorists, the legal matters of the Road Traffic Act (StVG), the Road Traffic Regulations (StVO), the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO), the Vehicle Licensing Regulations (FZO) and the Driving License Regulations are relevant.

All of these laws regulate road safety. This includes that cars must meet the legal requirements so that they can be driven on public roads.

If a manufacturer's cars meet the requirements, an operating license is issued. In the case of mass-produced vehicles, these procedures are applied across the board. Who buys a car and gets through Auto code Making changes has to face consequences.

Beware of profound changes with illegal software

Because through that Auto code a vehicle can be changed to such an extent that it is no longer covered by the operating license. Therefore, the changes must be approved by the authorities.

Only when the changes have been approved and entered in the vehicle documents can the vehicle be used again. But that is not always possible.

Some changes violate legal regulations. Subsequent approval by the authorities is not possible here. Since the vehicle no longer complies with the legal requirements, it must not be used in road traffic.

If you drive anyway, the competent authority can prohibit the operation of the vehicle. They can also withdraw your operating license for the vehicle and even confiscate it.

Problem with auto coding: the lighting

However, it is not always easy to tell when Auto code violates an administrative law and when Auto code is legal. One example is vehicle lighting.

The headlights and taillights are meant. Here, too, there are mandatory regulations by the legislator. However, changes to the lighting are popular and with the Auto code made easy and quick.

Changes to the lighting are obsolete because the car is given an individual and sporty design. After all, it's very seductive to be by Auto code to design the lighting according to his own ideas.

Despite all the enthusiasm, it is often overlooked that laws are being broken. One example is the parking light.

In many cars, the US parking lights are programmed into the controls, but not activated. The reason is that the indicators are integrated in the US parking light and the parking light therefore also glows orange.

In Germany it is forbidden to integrate the turn signals into the parking lights. The parking lights must be white at the front and red at the back. However, many are not very familiar with such details. If you do not know this and activate the US parking light, you are violating an administrative regulation.

The consequences of such errors depend on the authority. Usually there is a fine. In addition, the car must be returned to its proper condition.

There is always a "It depends"

As you can see, the question is whether Car coding legally is not to be answered with a simple yes or no. It always depends on what you are doing Auto code changed on your vehicle.

Who you with the Auto code want to ensure that the rear-view mirrors fold in when the doors are locked, you hardly have to worry about a police check. But when it comes to road safety, then you should get in front of the Auto code inquire about the legal regulations.

If this Car coding legally is, also affects contract law, for example whether claims from guarantee and warranty expire. This particularly affects owners of new cars. There are other questions in civil law. For example, whether despite Auto code the insurance has to pay in the event of an accident.

Contract law - Pacta sunt servanda

Those of you who want to become a lawyer will encounter the principles of contract law in civil law at the latest during their studies. One of the principles is Pacta sunt servanda. In German this means that you have to fulfill contracts.

It is a well-known fact that you have to comply with signed and legally binding contracts. You yourself pay your bills on time and expect others to behave in accordance with the contract.

But what does that have to do with your car? After all, you signed a sales contract with the seller and paid the purchase price. In return you got the car, now it's yours.

That's right. But once the purchase price has been paid and the car has been handed over, the contractual obligations are not yet fully met. Specifically, it is about the guarantee and the warranty, which is still valid for years after the conclusion of the purchase contract.

Risk of confusion: warranty and guarantee

A common mistake is that guarantee and warranty are the same. They have the same intention, but have different content and origin.

Here you can read briefly what the difference between warranty and guarantee is:

  • Guarantee: It is required by law. The transferor of the item must be liable to the transferee for ensuring that the item has the contractually guaranteed properties. If there is a defect, the transferor must take responsibility for it, for example by repairing it. The warranty period in Germany for movable property is two years; it can be reduced to one year for used cars. Car dealers must always guarantee for sold cars. Private car sellers can contractually exclude the guarantee.
  • Warranty: It is agreed voluntarily, for example on the basis of a sales contract. The content of the guarantee can also be freely agreed by the contracting parties. In practice, the car manufacturer offers a guarantee for certain properties of the vehicle for a certain period of time. The buyer accepts the guarantee conditions by signing the sales contract.

Claims from the sales contract such as guarantee and warranty continue to have an effect long after the sales contract has long been fulfilled. But how does it work if you guys Auto code makes a mistake and you are claiming a warranty or guarantee repair? Can car dealers and automakers refuse?

When it comes to this question, too, our virtual lawyer says once more: It depends. If the car manufacturer guarantees that the body will not rust for four years, then you hardly have anything to fear.

Because in that case nobody will check or ask whether you have done a coding on your car. But what else is it if you at Auto code a mistake has occurred and your car malfunctions as a result.

In that case it is important to know what is in the sales contract. You should especially know the warranty conditions, as the car manufacturer can design them freely.

Since automakers with the Auto code customers don't enjoy it, they try to counteract it. For this purpose, clauses in the sales contract can provide for the rejection of warranty claims.

The dealer has to prove that the coding is to blame

Car dealers must basically guarantee. Was the damage due to faulty Auto code caused, but then car dealers will also reject a warranty case.

In such a case, you only have the option of filing a lawsuit in court and fighting for your rights. Civil proceedings, however, are lengthy and expensive, and the outcome is uncertain. If you are defeated as a plaintiff, you have to bear all costs.

Who at Auto code makes a mistake, has to take responsibility for it. So you have to pay for the repair yourself. However, you have nothing more to fear, since that Car coding legally is. Only the financial damage remains with you.

Another point that comes to mind when coding is the following: How does it behave when you get through Auto code Unlocks functions that are actually only available at an additional cost. Because in this way you save money that the automaker loses.

Use something without paying for it - are you allowed to do that?

A popular example. You buy a car without a reversing camera. However, the reversing camera is already installed in the car and would have to be via Auto code only have to be activated. If you want that, the seller will charge you a proud surcharge.

It is too high for you, which is why you activate the reversing camera yourself. To do this, you can get a dongle and smartphone app on the Internet. The costs for this are around 100 euros. The reversing camera is activated in a few minutes and you have also saved money.

You wouldn't do it any other way in the workshop either. The difference is in the cost. If the customer activates the reversing camera himself, he has spent around 100 euros. In the workshop, the costs are significantly higher.

In our example you have saved yourself money and now you have a car with a reversing camera. But is Car coding legally, are you allowed to do this in this form?

The fact is that in our example a car with a rear view camera was purchased, but the rear view camera was not yet activated. Activation by the seller would have cost an extra charge.

The fact is, in our example, by purchasing it, you became the owner of the car. Since the (not activated) reversing camera is built into the car and firmly connected to it, you have also acquired property.

Your car is your property - unlock everything!

As a car buyer, you are free to to do what you want with your property. This also means that you are allowed to activate and use the reversing camera.

If the sales contract stated that you could only activate systems such as the reversing camera via the contractual partner, the situation would be different. However, you would then probably not sign the sales contract.

There is no violation of criminal law, as there is no apparent intention to commit fraud. Fraud always presupposes a deception, a false pretense. You have an economic advantage, but you have not deceived anyone.

There is also no violation of administrative law. The opposite is the case. By activating the reversing camera, the vehicle offers more safety. Finally, you have a better view of the area behind the car.

You also did not act illegally towards the car seller. You pay for the car and thereby fulfill your part of the sales contract. So that was Car coding legally

In practice, however, such cases rarely happen. Car manufacturers have long since reacted and installed protective devices. To activate it needs next to the Auto code also a security code that has to be entered additionally.

Does the insurance have to pay compensation?

Motor vehicle liability insurance is required by law. Without it there is no admission. If you want more insurance coverage, you can take out fully comprehensive insurance.

But does the insurance company cover the damage if you have coded your car? A look at the insurance contract can save you from harm.

Better still: Before you go through Auto code want to change your car, you should inquire with the insurance about the effects. Basically that remains Car coding legally, but in the worst case, the insurance company can refuse to provide benefits.

Then, in the event of an accident, the insurance would not cover the damage and you would have to pay for the costs alone.

Conclusion: The answer is far from easy

As you can see, it is not that easy to determine if Car coding legally is. Basically it is Car coding legallyas long as you do not violate applicable law or any provision of the sales contract or insurance contract.

But even if Car coding legally there can be unpleasant consequences for you. This is the case when the insurance is due Auto code sees a breach of contract and refuses to perform.

So that you at Auto code If you don't have to fear any legal consequences, you should check before coding whether you might be violating a law or a contractual provision. This is mostly the case when it comes to safety.

With a commercial app like Carly for example, you can't be guilty of stolen goods. The sale, purchase and use of the app and dongle are permitted.

For any damage you suffer with the Auto code caused to your car, you have to pay yourself. But here the question no longer arises as to whether Car coding legally is or not.