The intent of this site is to inform owners about the current state of vehicle repairs, it is not to pick sides on who is getting it wrong. The insurance companies are working hard to get to the needed new model and until they see the path that they will be taking there will be a lot of incomplete and incorrect repairs.
The repairer side is equally in need of a new business model. They are currently being paid for incomplete repairs and the incentive for better work is limited. Complete Next Accident Ready repairs first require very good research and documentation, which in turn require skills that are not yet widely available to the industry. The physical repair then requires specialized current equipment and the skills to be able to use that equipment; the equipment and training are expensive and not trivial to incorporate into existing workplaces.
Here is an example; this one involving the recalibration of a forward facing camera after a windshield replacement.
- First we have to know that is a needed step
- Then we have to ask the insurance company to pay for it, because it is not yet automatically in the system.
- The equipment to do this calibration is available to the aftermarket, but at a cost of close to $6,000 for the one brand only and we would need the training to use it. We may get to that point but we are not there today.
- The recalibration can be done by the dealer at a cost of $135; we will get a discount of 15% on this so our margin is $20.25.
- For this $20.25 we have already made several phone calls and now have to drive the car to the dealership and then go back to pick it up the next day.
- The customer, who had been hoping for a one day turnaround now needs a service car and an explanation of why the car is not ready.
It is little wonder that not a lot of calibrations are being done, the car will not signal the owner in any way that the camera may be out of calibration and it is easier for most repair shops to simply not know about this needed step, either willingly or through true ignorance. Insurance companies will pay it out as a complete claim and not question why the calibration was not done. The repairer did not have to spend time on a procedure that had no profit and the insurer paid less than it would have. For now these two are happy with the outcome and the owner is none the wiser.
This will change, but it is the current reality.