In a recent letter to Volkswagen Certified Collision Repair facilities in the US, from January 2020 Volkswagen will require proof that a collision repairer is qualified to perform certain side-impact repairs before it’ll sell the associated parts to that repairer.
Volkswagen didn’t spell out precisely which parts would be restricted, but the section describing the change speaks of “B-Pillar Parts Restrictions” and repairs to vehicles involved in a “side-impact collision.”
“Repairs of vehicles involved in a side-impact collision require unique equipment and a highly technical repair to safely restore the vehicle to its prior condition,” according to the letter from both VW wholesale parts senior manager Dan DuCharme and wholesale operations manager Bill Garrett. “As a result, we will begin restricting some of the parts associated with this repair to ensure the correct repair process is followed.”
Shops won’t be able to buy the restricted parts without providing “repair plans, test welds, documentation of training, and evidence of properly-calibrated VAS welders to a third-party auditor for approval.”
Parts restrictions typically occur at luxury repairers. The Volkswagen move is noteworthy in that it shows a mass-market OEM willing to sacrifice potential parts sales to give consumers better repair quality and strengthen certified shops.
“These program changes are a clear demonstration of our commitment to our customers and the trust in our network of VW CCRFs,” wrote DuCharme and Garrett. “As always, we greatly appreciate your continued commitment to standards of safety, quality, and customer satisfaction.”
In addition, from January 2020 Volkswagen advised its consumers and certified collision repairers that they will provide VW owners a free tow to the nearest certified shop regardless of whether the Volkswagen is still under warranty. “Our goal is to ensure that all Volkswagen customers have access to a Volkswagen certified facility,” concluded DuCharme and Garrett.
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.