A friend in Ontario sent this link to a Province article by Mike Smyth. Yes the wonders of the internet, he is in Ontario, I am in the lower mainland but he saw the BC article that I missed completely.
Mike had a point to make about expensive parts being one reason why insurance costs are rising and he made that point accurately.
However, his article invites a bit more comment; the cars need to be repaired correctly. A broken headlight is easy to see, and the cost of replacing the light can be determined. With the Mazda example the new light gets put in, aimed, high and low beam checked and away you go, with the insurance company paying close to $2,000. But did anyone check if the lights have Auto Dimming or Active Cornering Response and do these features need to be recalibrated. The camera behind the Camry windshield may turn on and send information, but if it is not aimed correctly it will send the wrong information and the auto braking feature will not be there for you the next time it is needed.
To continue the example of how carefully repair procedures have to be researched before repairs start, I have no idea if Mazda 5 headlights have any auto features (I made up the Active Cornering Response phrase, but it sounds as real as Lane Watch which is a current Honda feature) and I don’t know if the Camry camera controls Auto Braking. I would need to go to one of a few sources of information to determine if these features are in these cars or not. If I think I know because the last Mazda 5 we worked on did not have these features I am getting it wrong, one trim level difference and many almost invisible features can be included.
And as a fun comment on the Tesla that Mike led off with. I hope ICBC sold that with solid documentation to keep it from being registered after repair. My guess is that it will be repaired, because there is no market for Tesla used parts and whoever bought it will figure out a way to register it somewhere. If Tesla thinks it can’t be repaired they will not supply parts nor technical information so whoever does the work will be improvising and whoever buys the car will not be buying a Tesla but something that could be a called a TesLike. That car will definitely not be ready for its next accident.
How complex? This July, 2016 Honda Position Statement quickly becomes overwhelming reading, but it is a very real example of the issues that must be looked at for a complete Next Accident Ready repair.
If you do read through it you will see that it addresses only issues of electronics. In addition to the electronics that must be correctly incorporated into the repair plan the 2016 Fit in the photo has sophisticated zones of high strength steel that must be properly identified and understood for safe collision repair.
In the article below Mary Barra, the Chairman and CEO of General Motors talks about the changes that GM and other manufacturers are now fully involved in. If, as she says, there will be more changes in the next 5 years than there were in the past 50 how is a repair facility expected to keep up?
It won’t be by relying on practices and training from somewhere in the past 50 years. Those facilities that choose to keep up will do so with a new business model that includes significant investment in new knowledge and procedures to augment the experience they have gained over the years.
The Next Revolution in the Auto Industry
Read the Article
We are truly in a period of rapid change in vehicle technology. A 2016 or 2017 vehicle may look to the owner like a newer version of a 2010 but below the surface there have been many changes in very important areas.
The physical structure of today’s vehicles and the electronics supporting the safety features are both vastly more complicated than they were 5 years ago. These changes are dramatic and not just an evolution in vehicle design
This 2016 Fit is a very safe car but it has to be repaired with 2016 knowledge and equipment to be Next Accident Ready
Correct repair of these dramatically more complex vehicles requires very different methods from what the both the repair and insurance side of the collision repair industry have been using for the past several decades. The move to these new methods has started, but at the start of 2017 the industry is still dominated by repair methods that have been in use for 20 years.
A vehicle that has been repaired with outdated methods and equipment will meet the current measures of success; on time delivery of a clean and shiny car at as low cost as possible. Safety is talked about but it is not yet measured or regulated.
If this clean and shiny vehicle has been structurally compromised with incorrect repairs it will in most cases drive as well as before the accident but it will not be Ready for its Next Accident.