This development is significant. The research for I-CAR’s previous sectioning guidelines was conducted over 20 years ago. Recent advancements in vehicle structure—driven by manufacturers looking for lighter, more crash-resistant designs—dictated the change. The widespread use of advanced high strength steels (AHHS) unsuited for sectioning due to their vulnerability to heat is one result. Structural design complexities increasingly specific to individual manufacturers is another.
“Defining safe places to section vehicles has become incredibly nonstandard—even the repair terminology can change from manufacturer to manufacturer,” stated Jason Bartanen, technical director for I-CAR. “The location of the part and its design intent are more important than ever, and the repairer must understand this if he or she is to carry out a safe, quality repair”
OEMs are supplying more material on structural repairs than ever before, and that’s good news. But the challenge to repairers is seeking out this massive amount of information and mastering it. I-CAR provides an invaluable service by including a sectioning matrix on its website (www.i-car.com/partialreplacement) with direct links to available OEM websites where the procedures can be found.
If the manufacturer provides no recommendations, according to I-CAR, determining how the vehicle should be repaired becomes a business decision between the insurer, repairer, and customer.
“It’s imperative for today’s technician and anyone else sharing responsibility for the repair, to know what he or she is specifically working on,” added Bartanen. “If there is any doubt, erring on the side of caution is the only prudent strategy to take.”
“Repairers should understand this is not 10 to 12 years ago and that a “one size fits all” approach to sectioning just doesn‟t work anymore,” says VeriFacts CEO and co-founder Farzam Afshar. “We salute I-CAR for their fine work in assembling this data, which will lead to safe, quality repairs, and are ourselves committed to spreading the word regarding these critical new procedures.”