By CRM staff
Toronto, Ontario -- February 7, 2019 -- Three-in-ten Canadian collision repair facilities rarely or never follow OEM procedures while making repairs, a Collision Repair survey has found. An equal number of respondents said they followed OEM procedures for most repairs, and 40 percent said they followed them at all times.
With ever more sensitive sensors appearing in each new generation of vehicles, OEMs have been putting increasing pressure on the collision community to ensure their repair procedures are being followed. Despite their efforts, however, the survey has found that many repairers struggle to make effective use of their procedures. 57 percent of the repair facility owners surveyed said there were significant hurdles to following OEM procedures, with just 43 percent saying they were reasonably accessible.
The survey also found that 30 percent of the respondents found the information available to them to be confusing and 5.5 percent said they were unable to find the information at all.
“Getting the right information quickly is sometimes difficult. Sometimes you have to do a lot of digging to find the procedures you need. And many times, the information is not very specific, allowing the techs to interpret differently,” one respondent wrote.
The biggest obstacle to OEMs seeking to make their procedures universally accepted, however, may have nothing to do with the accessibility of information. According to one commenter, they would never become mainstream unless insurers began to accept them.
“Insurance gives us a hard time about researching OEM procedures,” a respondent wrote. “An allowance from the insurers might spur a few shops on but there is no guarantee that all shops would pull the data, they could just grabbing the money instead. Unfortunately, I think it's going to take a lawsuit here in Canada to drive home the point to shops but just as important to insurers.”
Several respondents voiced strong opinions about whether OEM repair procedures should be considered optional.
“With the way new vehicles are constructed, it is impossible for techs to know the right procedure for all models of vehicles along with the correct products to be using,” one repairer commented.
“Currently we do follow OEM procedures when a welder is required. We were recently taught that they needs followed by everyone—even if you’re just replacing a like a mirror,” another shop owner said.
Insurers are not alone in their skepticism of OEM procedures. Some respondents believed that OEMs are mistaken in trying to profit from accessing their procedures.
“When there is not enough information in aftermarket websites, then have to purchase OEM Repair Procedures to get the information. OEM's should not charge for repair procedures to repair their cars,” wrote one repairer.
“We are a small shop and finding the information has proven to be difficult at times without subscribing to every OEM's program, a cost we just can't absorb. We recently signed up with AllData and hope it will help,” wrote another.