NCR man welding a car

US vehicle manufacturer associations call for collision repair industry to follow OEM repair procedures

Associations representing virtually all automakers selling cars and light duty trucks in the United States released a policy position statement calling for all collision repairs to be conducted in accordance with the repair procedures issued by the vehicle’s original equipment manufacturer.

The statement, released by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, said that OEM repair procedures follow service and structural engineering practices that have been tested by the manufacturer through crash simulation, actual crash testing, and real-world validation of the repair methodology. They also say that following such procedures is even more important now that cars have become so technologically advanced.

The complete statement

An automaker’s top priority is its customers’ safety, as is safeguarding the overall health of the motor vehicle fleet utilising our nation’s shared roadways every day. All post-collision vehicle repairs must be conducted in accordance with the repair procedures issued by the vehicle’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM), specific to that vehicle’s year, make, and model. This includes any directives contained therein relative to pre- and post-scanning of vehicle systems. OEMs develop repair procedures to help safely restore vehicle systems to proper conditions. The processes follow service and structural engineering practices that have been tested by the manufacturer through crash simulation, actual crash testing, and real-world validation of the repair methodology. Beyond the simple reinstallation of vehicle hardware, OEM repair procedures provide the measurements and tolerances to correctly recalibrate advanced driver safety and assist systems increasingly found on today’s vehicles, including lane departure warnings, emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring. Failure to follow OEM repair procedures in the course of a post-collision repair should be considered an unauthorised modification of a vehicle and its systems, introducing the potential for bodily injury and death to any future drivers and occupants of the vehicle, as well as occupants in other motor vehicles on the roadway.

“There was a time when a basic understanding of autobody repair would allow a repairer to fix 9 out of 10 vehicles that come into a shop. That time has passed.” said Wayne Weikel, Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. “If a collision shop is going to fix the cars of today, they cannot use the repair procedures of yesterday. The only way to repair today’s vehicle is by following the OEM recommended repair procedures on every repair.”

Vehicle manufacturer emphasised that the auto repair procedures are readily available to auto shops though numerous online outlets.

“Automakers have gone to great lengths to make repair procedures available to the public,” said Steve Gehring, Vice President, Vehicle Safety and Connected Automation, for the Association of Global Automakers. “These procedures were developed to ensure the vehicle is safely returned to pre-crash condition, with a confidence that advanced driver safety systems are calibrated correctly to help avoid the next crash.”

“ASA has made the use of OEM repair procedures by collision shops a top policy priority. All parties in the collision repair process have a stake in repairs being made correctly by following OEM repair procedures which includes vehicle scans. Following these recommended procedures should be a practice that is performed on every vehicle and all parties to the repair, consumers, insurers and shops assume that it will be done. We look forward to working with our team members to move OEM repair procedure policy forward across the US”, stated Roy Schnepper, ASA Chairman.

Last month the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Automotive Service Association announced plans to actively push state legislation to mandate the use of recommended OEM repair procedures in all post-accident, insurance-funded vehicle repairs, as a result of the $42 million verdict in the Seebachan v. John Eagle Collision handed down in Texas in 2017.

This article courtesy of Russell Thrall III, publisher CollisionWeek. Check out their website at: www.collisionweek.com

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