Published on August 28th 2017 in

Collision repairers should treat OEM procedures as ‘requirement’

An attorney specializing in collision repair warned shops that the idea that an OEM “recommendation” is merely a suggestion is incorrect. “Consider it a requirement whether they’ve used that word or not,” Erica Eversman (Vehicle Information Services) said during last week’s Repair University Live.

“If there’s anyone who knows how to correctly fix the vehicle, it’d be the automaker. If you don’t follow what the OEM tells you to do, you’re going to end up in a lot of trouble should another collision occur. That’s just not the place you ever want to be,” Eversman said. OEMs call it a recommendation for “legal reasons,” Eversman said. In a May interview with Repairer Driven News, she explained that it has to do with the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act; calling them requirements would force the OEMs into various warranty obligations under the law. But for a shop’s purposes, “you can pretty well equate that with a standard,” she said then. “When you read ‘recommendation…’ you should read that as ‘requirement’” she said last week.

Host Kristen Felder (Collision Hub) asked Eversman’s fellow guests Mark Olson (Vehicle Collision Experts) and Larry Montanez (P&L Consultants) if either had encountered a time when something was found to trump OEM repair procedures in court. Both men serve as expert witnesses in collision repair-related cases.

“No,” Olson said. Montanez said judges want to hear what the OEM states on a particular matter. Olson pointed out that the only permitted repair in California is one that follows OEM procedures, per the state Bureau of Automotive Repair. “I think some shops need to review that,” Felder joked.

All three major collision repair trade organizations and I-CAR also have declared OEM repair procedures to be the standard of care.

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This article is courtesy of John Huetter and Repairer Driven News. Check out their website at where you will find so much more information.

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