General Motors in the US has banned the use of all “aftermarket, reconditioned, or salvage” bumper fascias on vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems and restricted repairs to “topcoat refinish only.”
The sweeping position statement reflects fears that deviating from factory fascia specs will compromise automatic safety systems behind the bumper cover.
ADAS uses technology such as radar to detect vehicles and other obstacles on the road and automatically stop the car if the driver fails to react to a threat. It also allows for features which blend convenience and safety, such as adaptive cruise control. Since human error is responsible for more than 90 percent of crashes, the technology can, and does, save lives, prevent injuries and property damage – and save insurers money on medical and repair bills.
It’s therefore imperative that insurers, consumers and collision repairers heed GM and other automakers’ instructions related to preserving and restoring ADAS systems. That way, everyone can be confident that the ADAS can properly “see” through the fascia material.
Primer and topcoat refinish methods can be employed on ADAS equipped bumper/fascia systems, provided the total paint mil thickness on any portion of the bumper/fascia does not exceed 13 mils, as measured by a non-metallic paint film thickness tool gauge.
GM also implies repairers can’t always tell from eyeballing a vehicle that it has an ADAS system and estimators, adjusters and body technicians will have to check the build data and OEM repair procedures to see if one exists. ADAS systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Collision Preparation, Integrated Brake Assist, Ultrasonic Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Rear Emergency Braking may be among those relevant to the position statement, according to GM.
This article courtesy of John Huetter of Repairer Driven Education (RDE). Check out their website at; http://www.repairerdrivennews.com/ for this and many other informative and educational articles on the collision repair industry.