Tuesday, 21 July 2015 03:18

Mike Anderson Reminds Industry That We Don't Know What We Don't Know

Mike Anderson, President of Collision Advice, was the guest speaker during a Future Guild 21 webinar hosted by VeriFacts Automotive in July. In his presentation, "You Don't Know What You Don't Know," Anderson addressed the importance of why every vehicle repaired, no matter how minor the work is, must have the OEM information researched prior to completing the repair plan and fixing the vehicle. In addition, it should be scanned before and after the repair.

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Anderson said he decided to conduct the presentation after traveling around the country on behalf of Axalta Coating Systems. "It was alarming to me how many people I ran across, both insurers as well as shops, that were really not aware of some of the things it took to put a vehicle back to pre-accident condition," he said.

During the seminar, he said his goal was to create awareness for shops, OEMs, insurers and jobbers. He highlighted specific repair procedures that need to be completed on various vehicles, including Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Toyota and Mazda.

Repair vs Replace

Anderson said he has noticed an emphasis on all parties in the industry on the repair versus replace components. "It seems like the two major components repairers want to repair more often are the front and rear bumper covers," he said.

"I definitely take my hats off to companies like Urethane Supply Company. I used to be a skeptic but Iím a believer," said Anderson. "I do believe a proper repair can be made on a bumper cover and put it back to pre-accident condition with the technology that exists today."

However, he said it's important to be cautious. "We need to be aware when we can and cannot use any plastic materials where sensors mount," he said.

OEM Information

He encouraged listeners to take advantage of the options available in regards to researching OEM repair procedures. These include Alldata, Audatex TechFocus, CCC One Repair Method, Mitchellís TechAdvisor, and OEM websites such as OEMonestop.com. Many of the OEMs charge hourly, daily and monthly rates to access the information. GM, Ford and Chrysler are available free of charge.

"If you are writing an estimate and using a damage analysis software such as Mitchell, CCC, AudaExplore or Alldata, it is beneficial to have the OEM methods software you utilize integrate with your estimating system," said Anderson. "In my opinion, with every single vehicle that you write you need to make sure you are looking up what the OEM says in regards to the repairs and inspections required after a collision because we donít know what we don't know."

During the presentation, Rick Leos from Toyota commented that Toyota launched the Total recommended repair procedures within Mitchell, which provides all of the data. He recommended encouraging more OEMs to join in and participate as well.

Dash Lights

Anderson also addressed what he referred to as his biggest passion. He said many shops and insurers think that if there isn't a warning light on the dash, everything is OK. "If there are no warning lights on the dash, that does not mean that there are no problems with the vehicle," said Anderson.

Dash lights will not always tell you whatís wrong with the vehicle:

  • Dash lights are not diagnostics
  • Only alert drivers to current emissions, safety systems or maintenance intervals
  • May not illuminate until the vehicle is driven a specified distance
  • Some self-tests need to fail multiple times before a warning lamp or driver message is displayed
  • Some systems and options will be disabled due to a stored code
  • Some vehicle system retain failure records to help you determine if a condition is accident related

Examples of problems that DO NOT illuminate a warning light:

  • Auto/Express Windows
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Window Indexing
  • Mirror Functions
  • Satellite Radio Reception
  • Passive Entry
  • Hands Free Calling
  • Parking Assist
  • Object Detection
  • Auto A/C Blower Functions
  • Passenger Presence

Scan Tools

Anderson stressed the importance of using scan tools to ensure vehicles are fixed properly. "We need to figure out whatís wrong with the vehicle before we ever take it apart," he said. "We recommend any vehicle that is in a collision no matter how minor should be scanned before and after repairs."

When a vehicle is in an accident, even if it does not have an airbag deploy, even if the vehicle is unoccupied, Anderson said they must get a zero-point calibration or a similar calibration that requires the use of a scan tool.

He said it would be beneficial if the industry adopted four types of scans: an inspection scan, a diagnostic scan, a completion scan and a follow up scan.

Inspection Scan: increases estimate accuracy and helps identify any electronic equipment and avoid unnecessary repairs. It also helps insurers save money because it helps diagnose things that arenít accident related and can even prove fraud in some cases from the consumerís standpoint.

Diagnostic Scan: can save time and increases productivity by keeping diagnostic and repair functions in-house. It can also reduce cycle times and confirm component operation with an output test.

Completion Scan: saves time and increases productivity by keeping programming and calibration functions in-house. It can reduce liabilities and may improve Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores.

Follow-up Scan: used for accuracy and part of the quality control process. Many symptoms and diagnostic trouble codes can re-occur and are conditional depending on road tests and functional use of affected systems.

Trends in Vehicle Technology

He shared information provided by his friend Jake Rodenroth of ABRA and Chuck Olsen from Collision Diagnostic Services. In 1981, vehicles had one controller, nine sensors and only a few actuators. The 2008 Ford F-150 had 20 controllers, 50 sensors, 40 actuators and three networks.

Anderson briefly discussed technologies that are either already on the road or in the development stage including active safety system technologies; radar technology such as adaptive cruise control; pedestrian detection; and driver state assessment systems that monitors eye closures, head position and distraction levels with a combination of alerts.

If uncertain about any repair procedure, Anderson said itís important to do the research. One option he mentioned that might be helpful is the new I-CAR feature on their website called Ask I-CAR. "If you're not sure, and canít find what you are looking for, we have the moral obligation to contact I-CAR, VeriFacts or the OEM directly. Donít make a decision without contacting someone qualified."

He also encouraged participants to research videos on YouTube and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safetyís website: www.iihs.org 

For more information, contact Mike Anderson at mike@collisionadvice.com or Farzam Afshar at farzam.afshar@verifactsauto.com.

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