Steve Osborne, assistant vice president of American Honda Parts, Service & Technical Division, shared highlights of a proper repair during his SCRS seminar: “Lessons from Beyond the Repair.”
“A safe and proper vehicle repair after an accident is of critical importance to American Honda and to the SCRS,” said Osborne. “It’s so important to us that the car be repaired properly, we give away the information absolutely free.”
He said that some body shops think they don’t need to repair vehicles the way Honda/Acura specifies. In response, the car manufacturer set out to see what could happen if the OEM’s repair procedures aren’t followed.
In 2015, they learned of a 2014 Acura MDX car that was improperly repaired in Southern California. The passenger’s door stiffener ring was sectioned and the door ring was installed with MAG welding rather than spot welding, which should have been done according to the OEM’s recommended repair procedures.
Osborne said that Honda did not want the car on the road. The company brought it into American Honda, disassembled it and examined it thoroughly. Then they took a brand new MDX and replicated the poor repairs, which included using MAG welding rather than the recommended spot welding. Osborne said that although the vehicle looked great after being repaired, they wanted to find out how it would perform if it were in an accident.
A small overlap crash test was conducted according to IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) specifications at 40 miles per hour. Osborne said the result was a body structural collapse that caused an inoperable driver’s door, intrusion in the driver’s cabin, and a broken dashboard support beam. Many of the improper MAG plug welds also failed during the crash test, although the factory spot welds remained intact. “Had a person been in this car, they would have been injured severely,” said Osborne.
He said the crash test helped demonstrate the importance of always following the body repair manual procedures for proper collision repairs. He encouraged shops to access the free information provided and share it with others in the industry. The website is www.techinfo.honda.com.