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John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).


He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Tuesday, 06 July 2021 22:46

GM Scales Back Post-Crash Inspections Requirement for Collision Repair Shops

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General Motors now says most post-crash safety inspections are necessary only after “any collision that exceeds minor outer body panel cosmetic distortion.” General Motors now says most post-crash safety inspections are necessary only after “any collision that exceeds minor outer body panel cosmetic distortion.”

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General Motors recently rolled out a significant overhaul of the vehicle inspections it calls on auto body shops to perform post-collision, saying the changes in no way compromise safety.

The automaker previously had a long list of such inspections it required “after any collision,” including inspection of the steering wheel and column, the instrument panel mounting points and brackets and seat mounting points.

 

It now says most inspections are necessary only after “any collision that exceeds minor outer body panel cosmetic distortion.” This eliminates the need for some “pretty invasive” steps, said John Eck, collision manager for GM, in a webinar about the changes, like “removing the headliner or…dash, or measuring a steering column, when all you’re doing is replacing a fascia without any structural repair.”

One exception: GM wants “every seat belt of every [GM] vehicle inspected every time” a vehicle is in for repairs, “regardless of the [crash] severity level or what’s being done” to the vehicle.

 

When damage is more than “minor outer body panel cosmetic distortion,” GM has a list of the “unrelated components that could be subject to damage” for which further inspections are needed.

 

For each of these, the new document lists different steps necessary based on whether there has been an airbag or pretensioner deployment. If a front airbag has deployed, for example, the steering wheel must be replaced; if not deployed, a visual inspection of the module cover is sufficient, provided no “deformation, distortion or indentations” are seen.

 

There is also additional information from GM’s engineers about many of the inspections, such as what to look for during visual inspections of different components.

 

Given only a seat belt inspection is required in the event of collision repairs that involve only “minor outer body panel cosmetic distortion,” Eck was asked to clarify what types of repairs that might include.

 

“If you’re looking at just the front quarter panel, no mounting brackets or no structural support brackets are damaged,” Eck cited as an example. “Or a fascia that might be cracked but the bumper bars aren’t damaged and there’s no airbag deployment. Or that side mirror that comes off backing out of a garage.”

 

A dime-sized dent on a rocker panel? “A rocker panel is not a cosmetic outer body panel,” Eck said, meaning...


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