Today it is still possible to hide incorrect structural repairs; the owner cannot see the repaired frame rail that should have been replaced or the improperly welded door post. It is the rapidly expanding implementation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that will force everything into the open; the owner will notice that the active cruise control radar is giving wrong information, or the lane departure is not working as it should.
As these systems become commonplace the driver’s expectations will also change. Those of us who have been driving for over 20 or 30 years may still be relying on shoulder checks and constant visual awareness. We are getting used to the warnings and signals from our cars, but these are still secondary and in some cases even distracting. But people who have been driving only a few years may well have done most of their driving in cars with ADAS systems and they have become very comfortable with and reliant on these systems. They will know right away if something has changed after an accident and repair.
These systems are not luxury options on expensive cars. $25,000 cars have had many of these systems for several years now and in the near future there will be more cars with these than without.
ADAS systems generally do not involve the structure of the vehicle and it may seem that they are a completely separate issue in repair. However, ADAS considerations require an analytical and research based approach to repair that was not needed for most of the past 50 years. Learning this different approach will carry over to the structural as well, and those repairers who are doing the correct work around ADAS will be much more likely to be paying attention to the less noticeable, but equally important structural repairs.