By Jeff Sanford
Toronto, Ontario — December 12, 2015 — The latest edition of the always-popular Guild 21 call featured two American Honda representatives talking new developments in repair procedures. With Honda vehicles using more high-strength steel than ever repair procedures are evolving rapidly.
First up on the call was Chris Tobie. He is in charge of research and development of collision repair technical training and collision service publications for Honda and Acura vehicles. That is, he is the one writing the Body Repair News collision repair publications (his invention) as well as the online Honda collision repair training modules available through I-CAR.
He works closely with the Honda Motor Body-Paint Team in Japan to develop and improve body repair manuals and procedures. He warned listeners on that call that Honda is using more high-strength steel than ever. This fact makes it more important than ever that proper, prescribed repair procedures by followed … to the letter.
One example Tobie cited involved the very popular Honda C-RV. The vehicle now utilizes high strength steel in the A pillars. This is a change from earlier models. The pillars cannot be repaired as traditional pillars would have been. “The new C-RV has new high-strength steel pillars. You need to be aware of that. If someone comes with the roof sheered off, you have to replace those pillars. You can’t repair it like a 2012, or else you’re going to create a liability. Refer to Body Repair News and the body repair manual. You have to make referencing repair procedures part of the shop culture,” says Tobie.
He mentions there is a similar situation with the 2016 RDX. The vehicle is now composed of 58 percent high-strength steel, including the door ring. “In 2015 applied that to this area. This will need to be replaced as a complete unit,” says Tobie.
The company is now attaching notices to high strength steel pieces so that, when the part arrives in the shop those doing the repair will be warned they are working with high strength steel. “There is no reason not to note that this part requires special handling,” says Tobie. Honda has also established a Tech Line to help collision repair specialists with questions about repairs. “The techs on that line are trained. But they can get in touch with American Honda headquarters in Ohio, or the body paint team in Japan,” says Tobie.