Experience a Winter Storm `Fender Bender’? ‘Proceed With Caution’ When Selecting Shops Qualified to Repair Today’s Advanced Vehicles
February 07, 2023
Hoffman Estates, IL. Feb 07, 2022 - This winter’s spate of heavy snowfall, icy roads (not to mention resulting pot holes) and monster winds crisscrossing the country have created the perfect storm, greatly fueling “traffic” to the nation’s collision repair shops.
This falls amid one of the most transformative eras of vehicle technology change, significantly impacting how complete, safe and quality repairs are made and how technicians are trained – or not – to perform these complex repairs. In fact, with many Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) features infused into today’s vehicles (e.g. sensors “baked” into fenders), damage is often hidden from plain sight, requiring new levels of knowledgeable, skilled repairs. Case in point: failure to properly calibrate safety sensors can unknowingly put drivers at risk (AAA reports about 95% of new vehicles include at least one ADAS feature).
That’s why consumers may be surprised to learn that roughly one-third to half of all collision repair facilities commit to training of any kind – and there’s no law requiring that they do.
To help the driving public make informed repair decisions, I-CAR, the not-for-profit collision repair technical education organization, is putting consumers in the driver’s seat by identifying “Gold Class®” repair facilities that achieve collision repair industry established baseline levels of training for everything from repair planning, welding, painting, ADAS systems and now electric vehicle systems. Its body shop locator, www.bodyshopology.com, gives consumers access to a display of shops within a 20- mile radius, drawing from nearly 9,000+ Gold Class repair businesses committed to achieving I-CAR’s highest industry training credentials.
“An educated, skilled and knowledgeable workforce is strong evidence of the integrity and respect a shop has for its customers,” said John Van Alstyne, I-CAR president and CEO. “That’s why we remain steadfast in our mission-driven work: That every person in the collision repair industry has the knowledge and skills to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.”
Bill Eveland, president of Eveland Bros. Collision Repair of Merriam, KS., has committed to training for his staff for nearly 30 years. “That customer is entrusting us with their life,” he said. “A shoddy repair puts everyone at risk. Training shouldn’t be an afterthought, it’s imperative to business. It’s the right thing to do.”