Reports claiming that a rise in BMW thefts can be attributed to aftermarket technicians - courtesy of a European Union regulation - have been branded as ‘outrageous and wholly inaccurate.’

HiQ’s fast fit manager Stuart Carr has joined the IAAF in condemning claims that a recent rise in BMW thefts is linked to the independent automotive aftermarket.

Reports in consumer press claim that the EU Block Exemption Legislation has made it easier for thieves to steal BMW’s through access to car manufacturing programming.

Stuart, responsible for 140 fast fit centres nationwide, said: “The inference that fast fit technicians are stealing cars through access to their security systems is quite outrageous and wholly inaccurate.

“The article specifically states that there has only been an increase in the theft of BMW’s. Therefore, if Block Exemption was to blame, we would see an overall increase in the stealing of cars.”

“The legislation ensures independent garages are provided with the technical information for maintenance and repair and in most cases the security information is not provided. For that reason, it would be almost impossible for thieves to use the provided information to gain access and start up a car.”

Stuart’s comments arrive on the back on the IAAF chief executive Brian Spratt,who also hit back at the claims.

He stated: ‘“The implication is that owners and employees of independent garages are, in some way, responsible for the increase in the theft of BMW’s that the articles mention. This is a wholly unwarranted implication and, in fact, is incorrect on several technical points.

“The OBD port on virtually all modern cars cannot be circumvented in the manner described in the articles and BMW UK confirmed this in a meeting held at the UK’s Motor Insurance Industry Research Centre in Thatcham, earlier this year.

“That meeting was also attended by representatives from several other motor manufacturers and the police, all of whom rejected any suggestion that this was a consequence of the Block Exemption Regulation or, in some way, implicated independent garages.”