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Tuesday, 18 October 2016 19:09

CAA Glendale/Foothill Meeting at LA Trade Tech Features Speaker from American Honda

Written by Victoria Antonelli

CAA Pres Hillel

CAA Glendale/Foothill Chapter President, Hillel Shamam


The California Autobody Association Glendale/Foothill Chapter met on September 21 at 6pm at Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC).

The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by chapter president and manager of Eli's Collision Repair, Hillel Shamam.


Shortly after, a Mexican-style buffet was served to the attendees, courtesy of the LATTC culinary program.


Gary Ledoux, Assistant National Manager at American Honda Motor Co., Inc., then took the stage to discuss the OEM's repair procedures and certification programs.


Ledoux started his presentation with the question, “What's driving body design change?”

The following bullet points are from the Honda PowerPoint presentation.


Every automaker must meet these two targets:
* Fuel efficiency
* Cars that are more crash worthy


He then reviewed Honda and Acura's use of high strength steel (HSS) and ultra high strength steel (UHSS):
* HSS introduced on certain redesigned 2001 models
* Strengths limited to 340, 440, & 590 MPa through 2006
* 780 and 980 MPa steel introduced between 2007-09 models
* 1,500 MPa steel introduced on some 2009+ models


Where is HSS/UHSS used in the 2015-17 Honda Fit model series?
* Multiple grades of HSS/UHSS used in body construction
* Highest strengths generally used in front & center pillars/side sills
* Steel usage patterns have some similarity, but always refer to body repair manual (BRM)


Where is HSS/UHSS used in the 2015-17 Acura TLX model series?
* One-piece 1,500 MPa door outer stiffener ring, like 2014+ MDX
* Replaces multiple welded parts of different steel grades
* Must be replaced as a complete unit at factory seams – NO SECTIONING!


Looks can be deceiving - HSS/UHSS and Minor Model Changes:
* 2012-14 Honda CR-V has a 780 MPa body steel limit – No UHSS
* 2015 model looks similar, but add 980 & 1,500 MPa steel
* Welding restrictions required when repairing 2015+ models
* This information can be found in the BRM


In Ledoux's next set of slides, he discussed Honda and Acura 1,500 MPa steel locations:


Where is 1,500 MPa typically used in the vehicle?
* Front door opening and sill areas; usually applied at model changes
* May be one or multiple pieces
* Highest strengths generally used in front and center pillars, plus side sills
* Steel usage patterns have some similarity, but always refer to BRM


1,500 MPa steel unique repair requirements:
* No sectioning allowed; replace complete parts only at factory seams using STRSW and MIG Brazing according to BRM procedures
* MAG welding prohibited except as specified in BRM
* Use manual spot welding conditions in BRM, not welder’s auto mode


Ledoux followed up with basic sectioning rules and tips for the attendees:
* Only steel parts with tensile strength ? 780 MPa may be sectioned
* New guidelines are not a “Sectioning Free-For-All”
* Design requirements make areas of many vehicles ineligible for sectioning
* All conditions must be observed and met to avoid unsafe repair
* Sectioning must be done only in a single-layer area of part
* Multi-layer internal steel reinforcements and stiffeners must not be cut


He then disclosed what information the free body repair news publications from Honda and Acura provide to shops:
* Body structure - grades of HSS/UHSS and where
* Aluminum/magnesium body component location and repair
* How to use heat for straightening and sectioning during collision repairs
* Approved welding/brazing procedures and wire requirements
* Airbag system and general electrical repair requirements/guidelines
* Special tool and repair requirements for driver support systems


Ledoux then dove into the different OEM body repair training programs that are now available online for Honda and Acura through I-CAR:
* HON10e - Using Honda & Acura Service Info
* HON11e - Honda & Acura High Strength Steel Repair
* HON12e - Honda & Acura Restraints Collision Repair
* HON14e – Honda & Acura Electrical Collision Repair
* HON15e – Honda & Acura A/C Collision Repair
* HON16e – Honda & Acura TPMS Collision Repair


Next, Ledoux discussed why shops should be ProFirst Certified:
* Honda and Acura products increasingly sophisticated / new technology used
* Technicians cannot properly repair today’s cars with yester-tech tools and methods
* Shops will gain increased recognition for their professionalism
* Helps promote customer confidence and loyalty
* Increased opportunities to reach more people
* Receive cost and time-saving tools to help technicians make a better, faster repair


Last but not least, Ledoux announced what's next for Honda and Acura:
* Towing- Collision-damaged Honda and Acura vehicles towed to closest ProFirst shop via roadside assistance program
* KPI Dashboard- allows shops to compare themselves to other ProFirst shops throughout the country
* ProFirst Quarterly magazine (to be introduced at SEMA 2016) - features tech articles, new model information, shop best practices, guest editorials, shop profiles, and more


Fred Morago, collision instructor at LATTC, took the stage after Ledoux to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the local technical college.


The meeting ended with a raffle, and a word from the president. Shamam thanked the guest speaker, Ledoux, Mitchell for sponsoring, Axalta for the raffle prizes, LATTC for providing the facility, parking, food, and service, as well as all those who attended.


“We are starting an advisory meeting for LATTC’s collision repair program and we could use as much participation as possible as it only benefits our industry,” Shamam stated in a follow-up email to all CAA Glendale/Foothill members. “We will have our first meeting on Wednesday, November 16th. Please let me know if anyone is interested.”


He also enclosed in the email new regulation amendments in regards to the Anti-Steering law and labor rate surveys and encouraged members to give feedback.


The next CAA Glendale/Foothill meeting will be held in January 2017. Stay tuned for more details on the date and location.


For more information on CAA Glendale/Foothill, contact chapter president Hillel Shamam at

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