Wednesday, 13 January 2016 18:14

American Honda Addresses the Importance of Properly Repairing a Vehicle


Chris Tobie

Chris Tobie, an Instructional Designer for the Collision Re-Think Project at American Honda 

Ledoux 1

Gary Ledoux, administrator of the ProFirst certified program for American Honda

During a recent Guild 21 presentation, Chris Tobie and Gary Ledoux gave a Honda & Acura Collision Repair Industry support update. They both stressed the importance of learning the correct requirements and procedures to properly repair a vehicle.


Tobie, an Instructional Designer for the Collision Re-Think Project at American Honda, focused on new body structure issues that have occurred since the last Guild 21 presentation in August, 2014, when he gave comprehensive overview about high strength steel repair.

Due to changes in collision test requirements, American Honda has made significant body structural modifications to some of its vehicles. He used the example of a 2012-14 Honda CRV body that does not contain ultra high strength steel in comparison to a 2015 Honda CR-V body that incorporates 980 and 1,500 MPA steel.

“This completely changes how you approach repairing the vehicle,” said Tobie. “It may look like the 2012, but you can’t repair it the same way.”

He said it becomes very critical to use the company’s Body Repair News and body repair manual in order to properly repair these vehicles.

“You have to make that part of the culture in your shop,” said Tobie. “Anybody that is unable or unwilling to do that, is going to create a potential liability for you.”

Tobie noted that the new 2016 Honda Pilot uses a door stiffener ring, which employs similar technology to the 2014 Acura MDX and 2015 Acura TLX. As a result, the repair method is the same.

“The reason this is important is we sell roughly 125,000 Pilots per year, versus about 50,000 MDXs,” he said. “There’s a much better chance that you are going to see a 2016 Pilot collision repair just because there are more of them out there.”

Constructed of 1,500 MPA steel, the door stiffener ring must be repaired as a single assembly if it is damaged. Multiple stampings are spot welded together at the factory. When installed, Tobie explained that there is no access to the factory joints so they cannot be repaired. He stressed the importance of not using MAG welding or MIG brazing as a substitute where the factory stampings are joined with spot welds.

In November, the 2016 four-door Honda Civic sedan was introduced with significant body technology upgrades. Fifty-eight percent of the vehicle is constructed of high-strength steel.

“It’s absolutely critical that when a car using this type of steel is hit, that the entire vehicle is measured using a 3D measuring system to find out what moved so you can correct all the damage,” he said.

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