Letter from SCT Derive Shows That Big Changes are coming to the Pro Racer Software

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array cobraracer46's Avatar
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    Default Letter from SCT Derive Shows That Big Changes are coming to the Pro Racer Software

    As an owner of an SCT Pro Racer Advantage III software, I received the following email a few days ago:





    Dear Advantage licensees,
    In accordance with our Consent Decree with the EPA, effective January 2, 2019, we will implement tiered access for dealers using our Advantage Tuning Software. Prior to this, you will be required to complete our Customer Verification and Training Programs to continue to have access to parameters in Advantage after that date.
    There are two steps you will have to take in order to continue to access Advantage software after January 2nd:
    1. Verification. In the coming days, you will receive an email inviting you to fill out a 5 minute survey through our Learning Management System. Click the link in the email to complete the questions.
    2. Training. Following your verification, we will send you an email to complete the Customer Training Program. This 30 minute self-directed training involves reading a presentation and taking a short quiz to confirm your knowledge of the covered topics. You will need to score 100%, but you may take the quiz as many times as necessary.
    If you complete the Customer Verification and Training Programs before January 2nd, you will continue your access to Advantage without issue. Based on your responses, the only change you may experience after that date will be the level of parameters you will be permitted to access.
    We will be limiting parameter access after January 2ndin accordance with our consent decree.

    • Tier 1 – "Professional"
      Parameters such as Tire Size, Axle Ratio, Shift Patterns, and other Transmission Controls. Those that have no effect on emissions.
    • Tier 2 – "Calibrator"
      Fueling, Timing and other Engine Controls which, upon review, have a legitimate use when calibrating a street vehicle but may have an effect on emissions.
    • Tier 3 – "Research and Development" (R&D)
      Parameters which directly affect emissions/diagnostics controls and do not have a legitimate use when calibrating a street vehicle.
    • Note: This will not affect any user defined parameters or value files.

    We are always available to answer any questions. Please contact our Customer Success Team at any time. In the meantime, below are answers to FAQs you may have:
    Q: How does this affect my Advantage software?
    A: Advantage software does not change. In accordance to our Consent Decree with EPA, we have to limit access to certain parameters and determine that access for each dealer based on their expressed required use of Advantage.


    Q: What will be done with my personal information?
    A: By completing the Customer Verification and Training Programs, you qualify to have your information kept private. We will not release your personal information to EPA. We will only use your personal information as an internal record of your completion of the programs and to ensure you are given the correct level of access to Advantage parameters.


    Q: When does this information need to be submitted by?
    A: You must finish the Customer Verification and Training Programs by January 2, 2019 to see the least impact on your current Advantage Support.

    Derive Systems is committed to providing the best custom tuning software to our dealers while we work in accordance with our Consent Decree. We look forward to your continued business.


    Any questions, please respond to [email protected]


    Of course this is a disappointment for sure as it could render the Pro Racer software useless.





    - - - Updated - - -

    After experiencing horrible customer service from Amazon tuning solutions a few years ago, I decided to tune the vehicle myself, but now I may have to look elsewhere yet again. The question is, where does one go from here with out resorting to an expensive stand alone PCM?
    Last edited by eschaider; 12-17-2018 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Added contrast to pasted text

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  3. #2

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    Although I am not a fan of the SCT or their customer support model, I believe all the commercial tuning s/w providers will be compelled to behave similarly in short order, Jan. That means that your tuning software alternatives will quickly disappear.

    The one possible alternative you have is Clint Garrity's Binary Editor offered through Core Tuning and others. It is a very mature tuning product that predates most if not all of the commercial providers. Unlike SCT they do not limit your access to various portions of the calibration code — everything is available.

    Beyond BE I suspect you are in the aftermarket space but then you will have the DMV certification issues for street use especially out here in California.


    Ed
    Last edited by eschaider; 12-17-2018 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Spelling & Grammar

  4. #3

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    Some additional information about consent decrees and thoughts on SCT's communication ...

    From Law.com's legal dictionary;

    Consent Decree

    n. an order of a judge based upon an agreement, almost always put in writing, between the parties to a lawsuit instead of continuing the case through trial or hearing. It cannot be appealed unless it was based upon fraud by one of the parties (he lied about the situation), mutual mistake (both parties misunderstood the situation) or if the court does not have jurisdiction over the case or the parties. Obviously, such a decree is almost always final and non-appealable since the parties worked it out. A consent decree is a common practice when the government has sued to make a person or corporation comply with the law (improper securities practices, pollution, restraints of trade, conspiracy) or the defendant agrees to the consent decree (often not to repeat the offense) in return for the government not pursuing criminal penalties. In general a consent decree and a consent judgment are the same.


    Assuming SCT has accurately represented what has occurred, the Consent Decree implies that SCT and the EPA were involved in some type of lawsuit / hearing in which both came to a mutually acceptable common ground and then formalized their resolution in a consent decree in lieu of prosecuting the case through trial or hearing. According to Law.com the decree is typically final and can not be appealed.

    The effect of this type of event is to make a person or corporation, in this case SCT, comply with the law. Although unspoken, the law that is being addressed is most probably an EPA emissions related matter. The upshot, according to law.com, is that the defendant (in this instance SCT) agrees not to continue or repeat the unwanted activities in return for the Government not pursuing criminal penalties.

    Without reading the actual Consent Decree it is difficult to project the issue or remedy that was sought by EPA. From SCT's communication above it would appear that the issue is modifications to a vehicle's emissions logic that has been licensed for street use.

    The proposed Tiering in the copy of the SCT communication that Jan has shared will modify the SCT PRP Package to make emissions related modifications and possibly emissions supporting parameters inaccessible and unmodifiable to the typical performance enthusiast type tuner. This approach is similar to how they had previously differentiated what you could or could not modify in the tune based on whether you were a dealer or an end user.


    Ed

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    Yep, All that EPA Jargin = my car sitting at the tuner for the last 2.5 months and Not being able to be tuned. Brought it back home & my sct flash tuner is out in front of my house in the garbage can now. A mass air car would of been great to have but I found a nice used BS3 for sale & pretty cheap, feels nice to be getting back to what I'm use to.

  7. #5
    Senior Member Array IWRBB's Avatar
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    This is going to be a boon for the aftermarket EFI systems. Until the EPA figures that out and locks them down too.

  8. #6

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    There is a very good new alternative to the PRP package that I was remiss in not mentioning earlier in this thread. Eric Brooks left ModFords to work with HP Tuners and bring their 03/04 Cobra s/w product to market. As usual Eric did one of his over the top jobs.

    I would definitely take the time to investigate this product, it is excellent IMO and the customer vendor relationship is at the opposite end of the pendulum swing from the SCT crowd. You aren't viewed as the enemy or some recent escapee from a Federal Maximum Security institution. You are viewed as a customer — what a novel concept!


    Ed

  9. #7

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    But won't all aftermarket companies who offer tuning software end up getting handcuffed to these new EPA rules and regulations the same way SCT did? I thought it was just a matter of time.

  10. #8

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    They likely will, Jeff but it is not a certainty. By spanking the big boy in the sandbox first presumably all the little boys fall into line. It is possible that a littler boy with good lawyering can find an alternative path. Significantly and importantly as the Law.com's dictionary indicated, the participants in a concent decree have no ability to go back and renegotiate or appeal what they have agreed to.

    That means the SCT goose is cooked — not that they mind. They will most likely use the consent decree as a revenue generator to charge additional fees for participation at different levels, so from their point of view it is business as usual except even better. Because they already own you and they now have an opportunity to charge you one or more new licensing fees and shut down your s/w if you don't pony up the bucks. Sort of free money-— manna from heaven so to speak.

    The other firms have not entered into any consent decrees that have been publicized. This will become interesting.


    Ed

  11. #9
    Senior Member Array P49Y-CY's Avatar
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    when i read this type of thing, it's so discouraging and makes me think i might have picked the wrong hobby. where it is so restrictive anymore to hot rod your own car, esp here in california.

    or maybe i was just born about 20 years too late! lol

  12. #10

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    Possible a little bit of both, Chris.

    That said, this new brave world provides plentiful opportunity to spoof the guys that are giving us the hard time either with refreshes just for emissions testing or piggy back computers where the OEM ECU is maintained but the engine is operated by a third party aftermarket unit.

    Smokey Yunick had no shortage of really great on point quotes. Two of my favorite ones were, There are two types of racers- cheaters and losers and You don't race cars, you race the rule book!

    Sort of the same story with emissions certs. You just have to get into the right frame of mind


    Ed

  13. #11
    Senior Member Array torchred04's Avatar
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    I never got an email from SCT about my pro racers software. I guess I should try it out this week and make sure all is still working.

  14. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by torchred04 View Post
    I never got an email from SCT about my pro racers software. I guess I should try it out this week and make sure all is still working.
    Make sure you're not hooked up to the internet when you do. It does something to the dongle to because it disabled my PRP after the update. I went to my second laptop that's a duplicate, turned off wifi and PRP said that it wouldn't open until it had been updated. So I read the 59 pages and took the 5 question test. Passed no prob. It is open book, no time limit. No brainer multiple choice questions actually. Two on modifying DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) systems, which, obviously you DON'T modify anything from the factory, a PCV blow-by related question, another PCV question (what's it used for) and one on when EGR system is most effectively used at (cruising speed of course). I didn't even have to read all that. I actually skipped the last 20 federal pages lol.

    Simply, the test is easy. When SCT asks what you're doing with the car, say it's offroad. Take the test, pass it and you actually get access to more parameters than before. I just started using Moates Quarterhorse now too.

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