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Do Your Homework: GM revises Repairs and Inspections Document

Detroit, Michigan — In General Motors recently revised Repairs and Inspections Required After a Collision document, the company draws a distinction between major and minor damage.

When minor collisions occur, and there is “minor outer body panel cosmetic distortion,” the repairer would still have to conduct a mandatory seven-step seat belt check, but the shop could waive other inspections and part replacements.

If damage to the vehicle exceeds GM’s definition of minor, multiple safety operations become mandatory.

A presentation by OEM on Thursday highlighted what exactly GM classifies as major or minor damage.

If a fascia is cracked and no other damage arose, it’d be considered minor, GM wholesale dealer channel collision manager John Eck said. But if the repairer found damage to the bumper reinforcement beam behind that fascia upon teardown, then the damage has exceeded that minor threshold, it’s now structural, Eck said.

“What we’re saying is, ‘Hey, once we start peeling this vehicle back, and it’s only cosmetic, and it’s not anything structural like bumper bars, or pillars or a rocker panel, then the damage would be considered minor,” Eck said.

Thursday’s presentation offered some clarification in terms of major versus minor damage, though Eck couldn’t answer every question – shops will have to deal with diagnosing damage on a case-by-case basis.

When asked specifically about a dime-sized dent on a rocker panel, Eck reiterated rocker panel damage wouldn’t be cosmetic. “That would be structural,” he said, meaning it would be considered major.

Should a vehicle’s damage be considered major, the new document outlines steps that should be taken by the repairer, depending on the nature of the collision, and what part of the vehicle sustained the most damage.

“This doesn’t replace scanning and calibration,” Eck said.

Click here to view GM’s revised Repairs and Inspections Required After a Collision document.

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