Published on October 23rd 2017 in

Who Pays? OEM procedures still not being consulted every time.

CRASH Network and Collision Advice reported that a larger proportion of the 494 respondents reported checking OEM instructions at least ‘some of the time’ than in 2016. The percentage of shops who looked up OEM repair procedures ‘most of the time’ or ‘always’ grew from 48.2 percent to 48.8 percent, well up on the 2015 figure of 42.7 percent. “However, at the end of the day, this should still be done 100 percent of the time,” Collision Advice CEO Mike Anderson wrote in the report, released in October as the latest ‘Who Pays for What?’ survey began.


It’ll be interesting to see if the July 2018 ‘Who Pays?’ survey records a greater use of OEM repair procedures in light of the $31.5 million verdict against a shop, who the jury found exacerbated the injury to a couple in a fiery collision by deviating from Honda’s instructions on repairing their 2010 Fit. The announcement of the lawsuit came in late July, presumably after some of the ‘Who Pays?’ participants had already given their responses. The verdict was handed down on 2nd October.

The study does seem to indicate shops shifting into categories where they’re at least accessing repair procedures more frequently. For example, more shops reported checking instructions ‘most’ or ‘some of the time’ than in 2016, while the percentages reviewing them ‘only occasionally’ or ‘never’ both fell. Unfortunately, the number of shops checking them on every repair fell 0.3 percentage points. “Some shops think if they fix the same type of vehicle frequently, they don’t need to check those procedures every single time,” Anderson wrote. “Earlier this year, when you replaced a quarter-panel on a Ford Mustang, the procedure required replacing the roof as well. Today, Ford has a sectioning procedure, so it’s important to research it every time because things change,” he added. On a 2009 Toyota Corolla, two years ago Toyota said if you remove and inspect the airbag in the headliner area, you had to replace it. It was a non-reusable part. Today, Toyota makes the clips for reuse available separately, so you don’t have to replace it. “One vehicle manufacturer last year changed the way to replace their pick-up bedside four times,” he added. You need to research that information every time, and save it on file, so if you ever get audited for whatever reason, you can say, ‘The reason we did this procedure was because this is how the OEM said to do it at that time.’

“It is my opinion, and I feel I can’t say this enough, that it is impossible to write a proper and safe repair plan, or repair a vehicle after a collision, unless you absolutely, 100 percent of the time, research the OEM repair procedures.” The ‘Who Pays?’ survey also shows an interesting increase in the percentage of shops using I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support (RTS) portal and actual OEM websites to access procedures.

46.6 percent of the 1,057 respondents said they used the I-CAR RTS, which provides links to the actual OEM websites, as well as additional commentary by I-CAR, an increase of nearly 6 percentage points since the 2016 survey. The formal OEM websites saw nearly a 10-point jump from 2016. ALLDATA remained ahead of them both at 68.2 percent, down slightly from the 68.8 posted in 2016.

Shops could select more than one answer, so it’s hard to read too much into the growth and decreases in some of the third-party aggregators. However, the increased use of the I-CAR and actual OEM sites may be welcomed by automakers and others who argue that the third-party repair instruction aggregators can’t keep up with the actual OEM procedure websites.

This article courtesy of John Huetter of Repairer Driven Education (RDE). Check out their website at; for this and many other informative and educational article on the collision repair industry.

Industry Partners